Lots of governors to speak at RNC, but not Corbett

Published by Tracie Mauriello on .

            New Jersey’s governor is giving the keynote address. South Carolina’s is Ann Romney’s warm-up act. The governors of Ohio, Wisconsin, Nevada, Puerto Rico and New Mexico also have prime-time spots this week, and Louisiana’s is scheduled to speak but expected to stay home to help his state through Hurricane Isaac.

            Even former state cabinet secretaries and lieutenant governors will have speaking roles, but not Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett.

            Mr. Corbett said he hadn’t been invited to speak and isn’t offended that he wasn’t asked, although he would have accepted.

            He pointed out that most of the governors speaking are women, minorities, leaders of the Republican Governors Association or early endorsers of Mr. Romney.

            “They were looking for different things and there can only be so many speakers,” Mr. Corbett said as he headed into a reception in Tampa Monday night.

            State party officials say they don’t feel slighted.

            Former U.S. senator and former presidential candidate Rick Santorum will get a turn at the podium this evening, but not in prime time. The only other Pennsylvanian scheduled to speak is Keith Rothfus, Congressional candidate from Edgeworth.

            “I would love to have our governor speak and I would have loved to have had [U.S. Sen.] Pat Toomey speak … but we know what our role is,” said Rob Gleason, chairman of the Republican Party of Pennsylvania.

            Pennsylvania isn’t a flashy state, but a hard-working one that doesn’t seek the spotlight, he said.

            “Tom [Corbett] is like all of us. We know what we need to do and we’re going to do it without a lot of flourish,” Mr. Gleason said. “Some governors are self-promoters,” but not Mr. Corbett, he said.

            “Will [national party leaders] take us for granted? They might,” he said.

            Michael Barley, executive director of the state party, doesn’t think so.

            “Look where [the delegation] is positioned on the floor. We’re center aisle right in front of the stage,” he said. “That’s a decent indication of what they think of us. They wouldn’t have put us center if we didn’t have some standing.”

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