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McMorris Rodgers will host GOP convention

U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ role in the Republican National Convention has grown significantly in the revised schedule announced Sunday.

McMorris Rodgers, R-Spokane, was expected to give a seven-minute speech Monday night until the convention was shortened as a result of a threatening hurricane. In the new schedule, McMorris Rodgers is listed as the convention’s host.

That means McMorris Rodgers’ will open primetime activities on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights with three-to-five minute speeches. She also will close the convention on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, said McMorris Rodgers’ campaign spokesman Todd Winer.

The Romney campaign expanded her role as many Republicans worry that controversial comments about rape and abortion made by U.S. Rep. Todd Akin, the Republican candidate for Senate in Missouri, could hurt Romney among female voters. Romney has called on Akin to drop out of the race.

McMorris Rodgers has taken a high-profile role nationally defending Romney and the Republican Party against attacks from Democrats over women’s issues.

Winer said that while the congresswoman has been “a strong voice on the women’s issue,” her selection as host “goes beyond that.”

“It’s more a vote of confidence in the congresswoman as a very effective spokesperson,” Winer said.