Coburn to Speak at GOP Convention

Posted August 21, 2008 at 2:19pm

Updated: 4:15 p.m.

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), who often plays spoiler for pet projects of his GOP colleagues, has been given a coveted slot to speak at the Republican presidential convention in Minnesota on the night of Sept. 2.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the GOP presidential candidate, has slowly unveiled which GOP players will get speaking slots for his nomination convention. So far, the list has largely included moderate public figures such as former New York Mayor and ex-presidential contender Rudy Giuliani, Sen. Joe Lieberman (ID-Conn.) and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who have been given prime-time slots.

The news that Coburn will also speak tamps down criticism that the McCain campaign was receiving for not adding fiscal conservatives to the lineup of speakers. In a release, Coburn said he will talk about earmarks, wasteful spending and the need for change in Washington.

The decision to include Coburn on the speakers’ list comes after criticism from the Club for Growth, which on Thursday morning went after McCain for not including more conservatives like Coburn on the convention speakers’ list.

The group pointed to other Members being left out, including Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Reps. John Shadegg (R-Ariz.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who they said have also championed the “limited government, free-market principles the GOP used to stand for.”