GOP Unveils a Speakers List Light on Firebrands

Posted August 27, 2008 at 12:37pm

Republicans have fleshed out their program for next week’s convention, adding a few speaking slots — although few in prime time — for conservatives.

Prominent conservatives Sen. Tom Coburn (Okla.) and Rep. Mike Pence (Ind.) will have their chance at the podium. The right-wing Club for Growth has complained about the absence of GOP firebrands such as Sen. Jim DeMint (S.C.), Republican Study Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (Texas) and Rep. Jeff Flake (Ariz.), all darlings of conservative activists but who also have tangled with fellow Republicans for failing to take a harder line against earmarks.

House Minority Leader John Boehner (Ohio) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) will speak on the first night of the convention, which will be headlined by President Bush, Vice President Cheney and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Others added to the Monday lineup include vice presidential hopeful Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Sens. Richard Burr (N.C.), Norm Coleman (Minn.) and John Ensign (Nev.), and Reps. Michele Bachmann (Minn.), Tom Cole (Okla.), Lincoln Diaz-Balart (Fla.), Thelma Drake (Va.), Mark Kirk (Ill.) and Kevin McCarthy (Calif.). Pawlenty had already been scheduled to speak on the final night of the convention, and Coleman also will do double duty, speaking on Wednesday night as well.

Coburn was added to the Tuesday lineup, which is anchored by former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. Boehner is also scheduled to speak again that night, along with Republican Conference Chairman Adam Putnam (Fla.) and Rep. Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.) and Luis Fortuño of Puerto Rico.

Pence was added to the Wednesday night speaker’s list — which will feature the party’s vice presidential nominee and is anchored by Cindy McCain, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (Texas) was also added to the lineup.

Sen. John McCain’s (Ariz.) buddy Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) was added to the final night of the convention, along with former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (Tenn.) and Rep. Mary Fallin (Okla.). Florida Gov. Charlie Crist and Pawlenty are headlining the night before McCain gives his acceptance speech to close the convention.