The New York Times has released the schedule of speakers for the Republican National Convention. The schedule reveals a strangely broad set of speakers and an inflammatory set of presentations, as well as some familiar faces missing, such as Sarah Palin.
Donald Trump’s nominating convention is being held next week, July 18-21, at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. According to staffers, Trump is still on the phone trying to pull in speakers to support him. Trump is a long-time, over-the-top showman, and his roster of speakers so far consists of friends, celebrities, and relatives, including his wife, Melania.
The Times reports that many of the Republican rising political stars, however, are missing from the speaking schedule. Perhaps the wide range of speakers is meant to broaden Trump’s appeal, or perhaps establishment party members are continuing to distance themselves from Donald Trump.
A few speakers have been drawn from the field of professional sports, such as Tim Tebow, a Heisman trophy-winning NFL football quarterback who is well-known for his conservative Christian views. Professional golfer Natalie Gulbis will also be speaking, as well as Dana White, president of the mixed martial arts organization Ultimate Fighting Champion (UFC). A few no-shows are Trump fan and legendary football coach, Mike Ditka, who was invited but declined, as well as supporter Mike Tyson, who was also rumored to have been invited.
Surprisingly, there are quite a few female speakers headed to the Republican National Convention, including Pam Bondi, the Florida Attorney General who is under investigation for suspicious dealings with Donald Trump. Eileen Collins, the first woman to command a space shuttle, will also be speaking at the convention. Republican female politicians scheduled to speak inlcude Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa and Governor Mary Fallin of Oklahoma.
Donald Trump has also managed to find a few African-American speakers, including Darryl Glenn, a contender for a senate seat in Colorado. Also speaking is Jamiel Shaw Sr., a high-profile advocate for stricter immigration policies since his son was killed in 2008 by an undocumented immigrant.
Politicians who have agreed to speak up for Trump at the Republican National Convention appear to be ones who have either been out of office for quite a while, such as former mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani, or ones who are completely new to the national stage, such as Arkansas senator Tom Cotton.
Confirmed for The Times by two people involved in the convention planning, the schedule will revolve around themes, with several hot-button issues addressed. On the first night of the convention, the attack on the American embassy in Benghazi, Libya will be featured, as well as a presentation by Mr. Shaw and border patrol agents about immigration law. Another theme that will be explored is former President Bill Clinton’s marital infidelities.
First night speakers also include Mrs. Trump and Rudy Giuliani.
On the second night, the convention organizers will focus on the economy, with party die-hards like Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Wisconsin governor Scott Walker both presenting. Also speaking will be Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who is a possible running mate for Trump.
On night three, A.G. Bondi, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and former opponent Senator Ted Cruz of Texas will speak. The nominee for vice president will also be presented and will speak on this night.
Night four of the Republican National Convention will wrap up with Tim Tebow, Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus, Gov. Fallin of Oklahoma, and Gov. Rick Scott of Florida.
There are a few expected speakers missing from the list provided to the Times, including former Alaskan governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, whom Trump said he had invited to speak. Also missing was Tom Brady, the popular New England Patriots quarterback who was also expected to support Donald Trump at the convention.
Although the #NeverTrump contingent of the Republican Party is unlikely to get their way and have Donald Trump removed as the party’s official nominee, RNC chairman Priebus and Trump’s staff are still working to prevent any challenges to his nomination.
Priebus has reiterated that party leaders need to support Trump:
‘If we don’t stick together as a party and stop her, then the only alternative is to get comfortable with the phrase President Hillary Clinton.’
Trump has delegated appealing to female voters to his wife, Melania, and daughter, Ivanka. According to The New York Times, Melania Trump will be addressing “women’s issues,” while Ivanka Trump will speak about “gender equality.” Trump says he may even live-Tweet the speeches from the sidelines.
H/T: The New York Times
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