Sen. Marco Rubio campaigns with Mitt Romney in Miami. (Saul Loeb / AFP/Getty Images )
WASHINGTON – In a nod to onetime vice presidential contenders, the Republican convention has given key roles to Chris Christie, the New Jersey governor, and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida.
Christie will deliver the keynote address while Rubio, a conservative favorite, will introduce Romney on Aug. 30, the final night of the gathering in Tampa.
Announcing the lineup, Republican National Convention Chairman Reince Priebus called Christie “a leader of principle and conviction,” and Rubio “one of America's most dynamic and inspiring leaders.”
Christie said it was an honor to deliver the convention’s keynote address.
“The challenges we face as a country are great and require the honesty and boldness of the Romney-Ryan team,” Christie said.
The Republicans will gather in late August in Tampa, while the Democrats will meet the following week in Charlotte, N.C., for the parties' annual presidential nominating conventions.
Both parties are seeking to use the attention to sway critical groups of voters – giving particular attention to the powerful Latino vote with their choice of prime-time speakers.
Democrats have announced a lineup that includes a keynote address by a rising Latino star, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro of Texas, while L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will preside as the chairman. Former President Bill Clinton will also address the party loyalists.
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