Republican convention speakers: Tebow, Ivanka Trump, Gingrich, Lt. Gen. Flynn
The planned speakers at the Republican National Convention include Heisman-winning quarterback Tim Tebow, Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Peter Thiel, the billionaire Silicon Valley entrepreneur.
The roster of speakers starting Monday is a colorful mix of political leaders, entertainers, personalities and Donald Trump family members — in keeping with his campaign’s unorthodox style, first reported by The New York Times.
The convention released an official “partial list” Thursday, which did not include Tebow, though CNN confirmed his spot with a Trump adviser.
Each night of the four-night gathering in Cleveland will center on a different theme, the Times said, such as security, immigration and the economy — and could include presentations on controversial material such as former President Bill Clinton’s past infidelities.
The first night’s focus will be on security and immigration, with discussions of the Benghazi attack and the U.S. border. Speakers include Jamiel Shaw, whose son was killed by an undocumented immigrant, and Cotton. And, as first reported by Fox News, Benghazi attack survivors Mark Geist and John Tiegen will also speak at the convention.
On the second night, speakers will emphasize the economy. Presenters include Dana White, the UFC president, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, whose name has appeared on some VP shortlists, and Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker will also speak, in addition to Donald Trump Jr. and Tiffany Trump.
The third night includes a slot for the vice presidential nominee to speak with no name listed, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is also slated for earlier that evening. Also speaking will be Sen. Ted Cruz, Eileen Collins, a pioneering woman astronaut, and Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, who was thrust into the national spotlight following the Orlando terror attacks.
The presumptive GOP presidential nominee, Trump will speak on the fourth and final night. Earlier speakers include The Times report about Tebow, the decorated college football quarterback, RNC Chair Reince Priebus, business leaders such as Thiel, and daughter Ivanka Trump, who has served as a leading voice in her father’s inner circle.
Thiel, a co-founder of PayPal, caused a stir in May when he revealed that he financed several lawsuits, including the one brought by Hulk Hogan, against Gawker. While much of the journalism community bemoaned the thought of a billionaire suing a news outlet into oblivion — Gawker filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in June and will be sold in an auction next month — others celebrated Thiel’s secret legal battle, which he described as “specific deterrence.”
It appears Trump may support Thiel’s efforts. The GOP nominee said earlier this year that he intends to “open up” libel laws, making it easier to sue news organizations. But after a Florida jury awarded Hogan $140.1 million in his case against Gawker, Trump signaled that such reform might not be necessary.
“I might not have to, based on Gawker. Right?” he said.
A number of other Republican lawmakers, business leaders, and celebrities are also slated to appear. Notably, many Republican leaders have also said they will skip the convention, a list that includes former President Bush 41 and 43, former GOP presidential nominees Sen. John McCain and Mitt Romney, and several current GOP lawmakers.
By David Wright
CNN’s Tom Kludt and Jeremy Diamond contributed to this report.