U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ role in the Republican National Convention has grown significantly in the revised schedule announced Sunday.
McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., was expected to give a seven-minute speech tonight until the convention was shortened as a result of Tropical Storm Isaac. In the new schedule, McMorris Rodgers is listed as the convention’s host.
That means McMorris Rodgers’ will open prime-time 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. He said discussions about increasing her presence began last week even before the convention was shortened.
The Romney campaign expanded her time 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 his Senate 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.