Priebus: No one’s been invited to speak at the GOP convention yet

posted at 12:01 pm on July 19, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Has Sarah Palin been snubbed by the RNC?  Did Chris Christie get inked into the keynote slot to start the Republican convention?  Hold your horses, GOP chair Reince Priebus told Chris Stigall on CBS radio in Philadelphia this morning.  As of right now, no one’s been invited to do anything — and the schedule won’t even begin to be addressed for another two or three weeks:

STIGALL: How much of that convention are you involved with, and who calls the shots?  And the reason I ask is, there’s this big deal right now about whether Sarah Palin’s been invited by Mitt Romney to speak, that Chris Christie — we haven’t talked about that yet this morning — has been named keynote on Tuesday to speak.  Can you talk about people speaking, who’s invited, who’s not, who’s in charge?  How’s that work?

PRIEBUS: [laughs] Well, I can tell you how that works.  I mean, it’s generally a very cooperative effort between the RNC and Mitt Romney. So, between their campaign and us, most things are like a 50/50 marriage.  I mean, that’s how I would describe decisions at the convention.  There’s also another component, which is the host committee in Tampa.  So both conventions have a group of people who are charged with the responsibility of raising all the money in a 501(c)3 charitable organization that actually raises the money so that the conventions can be put on.  We actually are charged with spending the money, and then we put on the program and all of the other things that you see  at the convention.  Those decisions of programming and putting all of these things together — they’re generally made by both entities.

And so, to your question now, there is no program set by us or the Romney team.  So most of these things you hear — although these are great people you’re referring to — all these things are just rumors.  I mean, there’s just no truth to the fact that people are getting phone calls and being invited to speak right now, because the program isn’t set.  So, when you guys hear things like that, you can generally assume that it’s just talk, and there still is time for —

STIGALL: So you cannot — so you’re saying that it is not confirmed that Chris Christie is the keynote speaker of this convention?

PRIEBUS: No, I don’t think anything’s confirmed right now.  I think that’s just rumor.  Now, I mean, Chris Christie is a key guy, but I can’t tell you that there’s a confirmation that he’s speaking on Tuesday night.  I think these are decisions that, you know, us and Team Romney are going to be making over the next few weeks.

STIGALL: On that, then there’s also no truth to “Sarah Palin is not welcome at the convention”?

PRIEBUS: Of course not!

STIGALL: Okay. Do you anticipate she’ll be there, if you were to guess?

PRIEBUS: You know, I have no idea.  I have no idea based on the schedule, based on what’s going on on programming.  I just don’t know what to tell you about it, other than it’s pretty early.  I mean, these are not — these are things that people will start making final decisions on probably, you know, in the second week of August.

In other words, if your favorite politico hasn’t received a speaking slot yet … relax. 

Update: Also, as a reminder, Rick Santorum — who will certainly be given a speaking slot — told ABC this week that he hadn’t received his invitation, either.  Consider that another data point in the argument that nothing has yet been decided.

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