Rand Paul, the tea party-backed, libertarian-leaning senator from Kentucky, will speak later this month at the Republican convention in Tampa, Fla., where he is likely to give voice to some of the issues his father, Rep. Ron Paul, championed in his presidential bid.
The Tuesday announcement suggests Republican efforts are continuing to engage Ron Paul supporters, a group that has proved to be more loyal to the candidate than to a political party. But giving Rand Paul a prominent convention role did little to temper frustration among many Ron Paul supporters who have argued the Texas congressman should be a headliner himself.
For his part, Ron Paul has urged decorum and respect in Tampa. An aide said that discussions are continuing about additional ways the party can acknowledge the congressman at its convention, although the campaign realizes Mr. Paul can’t speak at the gathering because he still technically is a candidate for president.
Rand Paul’s role was announced as GOP leaders continued to unfurl their list of featured convention speakers. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush was added to the lineup, as were former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who mounted a strong challenge for the presidential nomination, and Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin. Previously announced speakers include Sen. John McCain, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.Continue reading →