Retooled GOP convention schedule features six Latinos in prime time
Texas Republican Senate candidate Ted Cruz is among those speaking in prime time.
TAMPA, Fla. — Republicans maintained six high-profile speaking slots for Latino party figures at their shortened convention, which will begin Tuesday.
Texas Senate nominee Ted Cruz, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, and Lucé Vela Fortuño, the wife of Puerto Rico Gov. Luis Fortuño, will all speak on Tuesday in the 9 PM block. Gov. Fortuño and New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez will speak Wednesday night and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio will introduce Mitt Romney when he accepts the Republican Party’s presidential nomination Thursday night.
Republicans were forced to retool their speaking schedule after they called off the first day of the convention — Monday — due to Tropical Storm Isaac hitting the Gulf Coast. Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus will officially gavel the open at 2 PM Monday, but it will go into immediate recess until Tuesday afternoon.
Romney trails President Obama by around 40 percentage points among Latino voters, the nations fastest-growing voting group. The party has come under fire from Latino groups for adopting policies and rhetoric, from immigration to healthcare, that have turned off members of the community.
Party strategists worry that without support from Latinos, and other minority voting groups, the GOP could lose its ability to successfully compete in national elections.
Republicans have attempted to repair their image in part by featuring their new roster of high-profile Latino officials, such as Rubio, Martinez, and Sandoval, all whom won elections in 2010.
Rep. Quico Canseco (Texas) appeared to be cut from the official program. He was scheduled to speak with other young House Republicans who were eliminated from the lineup.
(Photo: Flickr, Gage Skidmore)