Republicans announce hastily rescheduled convention in response to storm

Alex Pappas Political Reporter
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TAMPA, Fla. — This is how you cram four days worth of speakers into three.

Officials with the Republican National Convention held a conference call Sunday evening to unveil the hastily reorganized line up of speakers for the convention, set to officially begin here Monday, though not really fully getting underway until Tuesday.

The new schedule has Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus calling the convention to order Monday afternoon and then immediately going into recess. Speakers won’t begin until Tuesday, when officials hope the weather conditions from Topical Storm Isaac will no longer threaten convention-goers.

In a conference call with reporters Sunday, Russ Schriefer, a strategist with Republican Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, said all originally scheduled major headline speakers will address the convention, though some lesser name speakers were eliminated due to the cutting of convention days to three from four.

“There have been a few speakers who weren’t headliners that we had to let go,” Schriefer said.

According to the revised schedule, the roll call vote to formally nominate Romney as president and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as vice president will occur Tuesday.

Among those scheduled to speak Tuesday: Priebus, House Speaker John Boehner, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, former Democratic Alabama Rep. Artur Davis, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Romney’s wife, Ann, is also scheduled to speak.

On Wednesday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, 2008 presidential nominee John McCain, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, South Dakota Sen. John Thune, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez are all scheduled to speak. Vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan will also address the convention.

On Thursday, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and his wife Callista are scheduled to address the convention, as is Romney’s son Craig. Those scheduled to speak also include former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. Romney himself will address the convention Thursday night as well.

Schriefer said Monday’s theme was scheduled to be “We Can Do Better,” but that theme will now be built into the themes of the other nights.

“‘We Can Do Better’ will be weaved into the Tuesday ‘We Built It’ program, the Wednesday ‘We Can Change It,’ and Thursday ‘We Believe in America’ program,” the strategist said.

While official convention proceedings are being postponed until Tuesday, other activities are still being held across Tampa in association with the convention.

On Monday, for example, former Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich is still scheduled to lead “Newt University,” billed as a series of public policy workshops with the former professor.

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Alex Pappas