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Initial GOP Convention Speakers List Revealed — and There Are Some Surprise Names

Who’s slated to speak at the Republican National Convention?

The speaker roster — according to the New York Times, which said it obtained a copy — features a mix of celebrities and friends of presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump but lacks many of the party’s “rising stars,” which the paper said he’s been struggling to attract.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses the audience at the 2016 Western Conservative Summit in Denver, Colorado on July 1, 2016. (Image source: JASON CONNOLLY/AFP/Getty Images)Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses the audience at the 2016 Western Conservative Summit in Denver, Colorado on July 1, 2016. (Image source: JASON CONNOLLY/AFP/Getty Images)

From the sports world, there’s former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Tim Tebow, pro golfer Natalie Gulbis and Dana White, president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, according to the report.

More from the Times:

There are several notable women speaking. They include Pam Bondi, the Florida attorney general, who tangled on television with the CNN anchor Anderson Cooper after the Orlando, Fla., nightclub massacre; Eileen Collins, the first woman to command a space shuttle mission; Gov. Mary Fallin of Oklahoma; Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa and Mr. Trump’s wife, Melania.

There are a few African-Americans, like Jamiel Shaw Sr., who became an outspoken advocate for tougher immigration laws after his son was killed in 2008 by an undocumented immigrant; and Darryl Glenn, who is running for Senate in Colorado.

But equally as noteworthy, the Times said, are the names apparently not on the speaker list. They include former Alaska governor and 2012 Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin and boxing promoter Don King — both of whom Trump said he was inviting, the paper said. In addition, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who the paper said is a very popular figure in New Hampshire, isn’t on the list the Times obtained.

But Trump is still sending invites, his aides told the Times, which means the list could grow.

Here’s the list the Times obtained, and which it said was confirmed by two people with direct knowledge of convention planning:

Night 1: A Benghazi focus, followed by border patrol agents and Mr. Shaw, whose son was killed by an undocumented immigrant. Senator Cotton, Mr. Giuliani, Melania Trump, Ms. Ernst and others.

Night 2: A focus on the economy: Mr. White, president of the U.F.C.; Asa Hutchinson, the governor of Arkansas; Michael Mukasey, the former United States attorney general; Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, a vice-presidential possibility; Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader; Tiffany Trump; Donald Trump Jr. and Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin.

Night 3: Ms. Bondi; Ms. Collins; Newt Gingrich, a former House speaker; Senator Ted Cruz of Texas; Eric Trump; Ms. Gulbis; and the nominee for vice president.

Night 4: Mr. Tebow; Representative Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee; Gov. Mary Fallin of Oklahoma; Reince Priebus, the Republican National Committee chairman; Gov. Rick Scott of Florida; Mr. Thiel; Mr. Barrack; Ivanka Trump; Donald J. Trump.

Jeff Larson, CEO of the 2016 RNC, released a partial list of convention speakers Thursday morning, with a complete list to follow later:

Pastor Mark Burns
Phil Ruffin
Congressman Ryan Zinke
Pat Smith
Mark Geist
John Tiegen
Congressman Michael McCaul
Sheriff David Clarke
Congressman Sean Duffy
Darryl Glenn
Senator Tom Cotton
Karen Vaughn
Governor Mike Huckabee
Mayor Rudy Giuliani
Melania Trump
Senator Joni Ernst
Kathryn Gates-Skipper
Marcus Luttrell
Dana White
Governor Asa Hutchinson
Attorney General Leslie Rutledge
Michael Mukasey
Andy Wist
Senator Jeff Sessions
Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn
Alex Smith
Speaker Paul Ryan
Congressman Kevin McCarthy
Kerry Woolard .
Senator Shelley Moore Capito
Dr. Ben Carson
Co-Chair Sharon Day
Natalie Gulbis
Kimberlin Brown
Antonio Sabato, Jr.
Peter Thiel
Eileen Collins
Senator Ted Cruz
Newt Gingrich
Michelle Van Etten
Lynne Patton
Eric Trump
Harold Hamm
Congressman Chris Collins
Brock Mealer
Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn
Governor Mary Fallin
Darrell Scott
Lisa Shin
Governor Rick Scott
Chairman Reince Priebus
Tom Barrack
Ivanka Trump
Attorney General Pam Bondi
Jerry Falwell Jr.
Rabbi Haskel Lookstein
Chris Cox
Senator Mitch McConnell
Tiffany Trump
Governor Chris Christie
Donald J. Trump Jr.
Governor Scott Walker

The RNC will feature a different theme each night, the Times said, and will focus on issues Trump has been speaking about during his campaign, such as the Benghazi attack, border security and former President Bill Clinton infidelities.

In the midst of planning the event, Team Trump has been working on issues surrounding potential challenges to his nomination — a sentiment echoed by RNC Chairman Reince Priebus.

“If we don’t stick together as a party and stop her, then the only alternative is to get comfortable with the phrase President Hillary Clinton,” Priebus told party leaders Wednesday.

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