RNC 2012: Speakers, Themes, and Schedules

Posted: Aug 26, 2012 9:00 AM

Here's a quick primer on next week's Republican National Convention, which begins tomorrow Tuesday afternoon and culminates in Mitt Romney's acceptance speech on Thursday night:

Monday (see update) - The convention will buck tradition and officially nominate Romney on Monday, as opposed to Wednesday.  Weather may be a factor in this decision.  The earlier nomination also allows Team Romney to legally tap their huge general election fund 48 hours earlier than usual.  As for Monday evening's session, speakers will include Sen. Rand Paul, Gov. Nikki Haley, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, former Obama campaign co-chair Rep. Artur Davis and US Senate candidate Ted Cruz.  Ann Romney was initially scheduled to be the final Monday night speaker, but because of the broadcast networks' blackout decision, Mrs. Romney's speech is reportedly being moved to Tuesday night.  Monday's theme will be "we can do better," and will highlight President Obama's failures.  Full schedule here.  (UPDATE - As we reported last night, Monday's program will be delayed, due to weather.  Monday's speakers will be spread out to cover an on-the-fly three night convention).

Tuesday - Truth be told, this will be the first blockbuster night of the festivities.  Centered around the theme of "we built it," Republicans will cheer and promote the private sector and entrepreneurship, while sharply criticizing Obama's government-centric worldview.  The evening session will include a short video tribute to Rep. Ron Paul, a figure with a large and devoted following, which Republicans hope to keep energized and in the fold heading into November.  Speakers will include rising star and Congressional candidate Mia Love, former Romney rival Rick Santorum, Sen. Kelly Ayotte, Governors John Kasich of Ohio, Bob McDonnell of Virginia, Scott Walker of Wisconsin and Bobby Jindal of Louisiana -- then Ann Romney, followed by Gov. Chris Christie's keynote.  Christie has alerted the media that he will not be pulling any punches.  Full schedule here.

Wednesday - "We can change it" will be Wednesday night's theme, keying in on the Romney-Ryan agenda to turn America's economy around, with a major emphasis on the middle class.  The speaking lineup features Sen. John McCain, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, Puerto Rico Gov. Luis Fortuno, and former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty.  At the height of primetime, delegates will hear from popular New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez (who was bumped from Tuesday to Wednesday to accommodate Mrs. Romney), former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (who wowed Romney supporters at a recent gathering), and Vice Presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan.  Full schedule here.

Thursday - The entire convention will build up to this night, when Mitt Romney will formally accept his party' nomination for president.  "We believe in America," will be the focus, echoing Romney's campaign slogan from day one.  The Romney celebration will include several small business owners and Olympians as speakers, in addition to a number of officials who served with Romney in Massachusetts.  Convention attendees will also meet individuals whom Romney has helped through acts of personal kindness and generosity throughout his life, often through his church.  The goal will be to humanize the nominee, then showcase his strong executive resume: His private sector success, his exceptional, turn-around stewardship of the 2002 Olympics, and his governorship -- during which the Bay State added jobs, balanced four budgets without tax increases, and saw the unemployment rate drop to 4.7 percent.  Sen. Marco Rubio will deliver Romney's introductory speech, then cede the stage to the man of the hour.  Full schedule here.

The convention's overall theme will be "a better future."  Townhall will have wire-to-wire coverage from Tampa throughout the entire extravaganza.

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