Who Are The RNC Convention Speakers? You Can Expect An Unusual Line-Up
Nobody knows quite what to expect at the 2016 Republican National Convention, with most of the Republican Party only begrudgingly lining up behind presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump and a handful still trying to devise a way to oust him from the spot. Party divides have led many Republican lawmakers to opt out of the convention entirely, taking several potential big-name and rising speakers off the list and leaving Trump to seek out alternative pools from which to fish. The official list of RNC speakers is here, and there's no shortage of unusual, and somewhat surprising, people lined up to speak on Trump's behalf.
On Tuesday, CNN reported that Gov. Scott Walker, who ran a brief bid in the Republican primary, announced he would be speaking at the convention. Also on Tuesday, an aide to former Gov. Mike Huckabee suggested that he will likely serve as a speaker. Huckabee also led a brief campaign in 2016. Both Walker and Huckabee have criticized Trump, but are getting on board as the general election push approaches. We can expect several more within the Republican Party to step up to the stage, though not as many as usual.
In a speech on Friday, Trump said that his family members will be speaking as well. We'll be hearing from his wife, Melania, and his four adult children — Ivanka, Donald Jr., Eric, and Tiffany. Surprisingly, Sarah Palin is not on the list of speakers, which leaves some scratching their heads at the rest of this list.
The New York Times obtained an official list of RNC speakers from Trump's campaign, which listed them by each night of the convention.
On the opening night of the convention, which will reportedly focus talks on Benghazi, the speakers list include Jamiel Shaw Sr., an African-American man who has been an advocate for stricter immigration laws since his son was killed by an undocumented immigrant in 2008, Senator Tom Cotton from Arkansas, Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and Melania Trump.
The second night of the convention will feature prominent speakers like Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, Lt. General Michael Flynn, Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, Ultimate Fighting Club President Dana White, as well as Tiffany Trump and Donald Trump Jr. They will be speaking on the state of the economy.
The third night of the convention will be an exciting one, as Trump's vice presidential pick will be one of the speakers. He will be joined by Ted Cruz, Newt Gingrich, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, and Eileen Collins, who was the first woman to direct a space shuttle mission.
The fourth and final night will round out the convention with speakers like Tim Tebow, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, Florida Governor Rick Scott, Peter Thiel, Thomas Barrack Jr., a private-equity real estate investor, as well as Ivanka and Donald Trump himself.
The Republican National Convention will likely be anything but conventional in 2016. We can expect to see fights over the official rules and the party platform, in addition to far more non-politician speakers than usual.