The speakers most people will want to hear from the most at the Republican National Convention are, naturally, presidential nominee Mitt Romney and his running mate, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan.
The Wisconsin congressman who is No. 2 on the ticket will be No. 1 on the podium, speaking on Wednesday night while Romney speaks Thursday.
Ryan is the highlight of the eve before the political powwow closes. He will be introduced by former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, a one-time VP candidate herself.
Four more who made it to Romney’s No. 2 shortlist are on the agenda for Wednesday: U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (OH), Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, U.S. Sen. John Thune (SD) and Puerto Rico Gov. Luis Fortuño—the only Hispanic to make an address Wednesday unless you count former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, and many do.
Others speaking Wednesday are: Senate Republican Leader and Convention Temporary Chairman Mitch McConnel; U.S. Sen. John McCain (AZ), who won the nomination but lost to President Barack Obama in 2008; Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, and Ohio businessman Steve Cohen, owner of Screen Machine, a machine manufacturing company.
Small businesses and support for the middle class will be a recurring issue throughout the convention Aug. 27 to 30 in Tampa.
The theme of the night will follow Tuesday’s “We Built It” theme—which rides on the president’s “you did not build it” comment to business owners, which the Romney campaign has made a huge campaign branch from. Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus today announced the theme and for Wednesday, the third night of next week’s 2012 Republican National Convention, will be “We Can Change It.”
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“We want to remind Americans that we don’t have to settle for four more years of high unemployment, low pay and deep debt,” Priebus said in a statement. “We will devote Wednesday night to showing the country that Mitt Romney’s ‘Plan for a Stronger Middle Class’ will restore our country as the best place in the world to find a job, start a business or hire a worker.”
Priebus said the Wednesday night program “will show that the Romney approach is both optimistic and achievable,” and hinted the recurring topics may be energy independence, support for the middle-class Americans, pursuing trade that works for the U.S., the deficit and small business.
“Having suffered through the longest sustained period of high unemployment since the Great Depression, Americans already know we can do better,” said Republican Convention CEO William Harris. “Next Wednesday, Republicans will lay out Mitt Romney’s plan to do just that.”