Christie Will Give GOP Keynote Address, Rubio to Introduce Romney

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Two rising Republican stars, both of whom were rumored to be contenders for the vice-presidential slot, get prime speaking slots in Tampa.

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Reuters

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will deliver the keynote address at the Republican National Convention later this month, USA Today reported. Meanwhile, Florida Senator Marco Rubio will introduce Mitt Romney, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

Christie confirmed earlier reports that he would give the 20-minute address, saying he will make an "empathetic" argument for the GOP and voting for Mitt Romney. The Republican governor is on his fourth draft of the speech and "grinding away on it," he told USA Today.

For several months, both Christie and Rubio were reportedly on the shortlist of possible vice presidential picks for Romney.

Rubio was on the campaign trail with the presumptive Republican nominee on Monday. RNC Chairman Reince Priebus praised the selection of Rubio, calling him an "inspiring" leader.

"It is fitting that he will take on such an important role at our convention in his home state," Priebus told the Times. "Throughout his career, he has shown true dedication to constitutional principles, fiscal responsibility and free enterprise. As the son of immigrants, he has witnessed the promise of the American Dream firsthand and has worked to secure that promise for future generations."

In 2008, former New York City Mayor and presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani gave the keynote address at the Republican convention. The Democratic National Committee has chosen San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro to give this year's speech in Charlotte.

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Matt Vasilogambros is a staff correspondent at National Journal.

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