Former Alabama Rep. Artur Davis — who seconded President Obama’s nomination at the 2008 Democratic National Convention — has been given a prime speaking slot at this year’s Republican National Convention, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus announced Thursday.
Mr. Davis, a black Democrat-turned-Republican, sharply criticized Vice President Joseph R. Biden’s remarks to a largely black audience in Virginia this week, saying that Republicans were “going to to put y’all back in chains,” a reference to GOP claims that they want to “unshackle” regulations on Wall Street.
Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell — all of whom had been mentioned as potential vice presidential contenders — also have been given headline speaking roles at the convention later this month in Tampa, Fla. New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte and Rep. Connie Mack, who is running for U.S. Senate in Florida, rounded out the slate unveiled Thursday.
Mr. Priebus, though, singled out the inclusion of Mr. Davis in his announcement.
“This exciting group of headliners includes two successful governors, two outstanding senators, the next senator from our convention state, and a former Co-Chairman of the 2008 Obama campaign,” Mr. Priebus said. “The perspectives and ideas they bring to the convention stage will show all Americans that Romney and Ryan are the ticket to a better future. Former Congressman Davis especially will give voice to the frustration and disappointment felt among those who supported President Obama in 2008 and are now hungry for a new direction.”