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McDonnell To Spearhead GOP Message At RNC

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Virginia's swing state status has helped push Gov. Bob McDonnell into the primetime at the Republican National Convention.
AP Photo/Cliff Owen
Virginia's swing state status has helped push Gov. Bob McDonnell into the primetime at the Republican National Convention.

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell is in Tampa, Fla., and is scheduled to deliver a keynote address Tuesday night. McDonnell will speak for about eight minutes sometime between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m., building on the night's theme: "We Built It."

McDonnell addresses Virginia's importance

Speaking on WAMU's Kojo Nnamdi Show, McDonnell said job creation and the national debt will ultimately win the day in Virginia over social issues.

"I think things are important issues to certain blocks of voters, but overwhelmingl,y what Americans agree on is that our great country needs to get out of debt and back to work," said McDonnell.

A poll earlier this month showed President Obama slightly ahead of Republican Mitt Romney in Virginia, but Romney had a narrow lead when it came to economic issues. McDonnell says that will be especially important in voter-rich Northern Virginia.

"Numerically, and because of the swing that can happen in NoVa, I don't think there's any question that NoVa will be key to this election," said McDonnell.

Indeed, the entire state will be crucial, as evidenced by the fact that the Virginia delegation will get a front-row seat.

GOP focuses on small businesses

The night will feature a roll call of Republican governors, including Chris Christie of New Jersey, Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Susana Martinez of New Mexico, John Kasich of Ohio, Nikki Haley of South Carolina and Bobby Jindal of Louisiana. The night will also feature Virginia Del. Barbara Comstock, who is Mitt Romney's Virginia campaign co-chair.

McDonnell spokesman Tucker Martin says convention delegates will hear directly from small-business owners: "There will be a component of the evening where job creators and small-business in Virginia and others states owners are celebrated. In fact, the governor will introduce Bev Key, who is a small-business owner in Chantilly."

McDonnell's term in office will end next year, and he's term limited from running again in Richmond. Many Republicans are already talking about a McDonnell presidential campaign at some point in the future.

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