A day after California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger told lawmakers to skip their national party conventions in the next two weeks if they do not pass a budget, the Republican National Convention announced that the GOP governor will have a prime speaking role on the first night of the St. Paul event.
Schwarzenegger is slated to speak on Monday, Sept. 1 at the convention, the same night as President Bush, First Lady Laura Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. Also scheduled that day is Sen. Joseph Lieberman, a Democrat turned independent who has endorsed McCain.
After meeting with lawmakers Tuesday, the Republican governor said, "I told the legislative leaders that it's extremely important not to leave before we have a budget done."
The governor, who backed McCain right before the California primary, had threatened not to attend his own convention if the state lacks a budget.
"We're unwilling to accept that this cannot be resolved by Labor Day. That's unacceptable," Schwarzenegger press secretary Aaron McLear said Wednesday.
Two former McCain rivals are slated to speak Tuesday, New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is scheduled for Wednesday.
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