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Santorum, Bush, Paul to speak at GOP convention
CNN Political Director Mark Preston
(CNN) - Rick Santorum, who emerged as Mitt Romney's fiercest competitor for the Republican presidential nomination, will speak at the Republican National Convention, a senior GOP official tells CNN.
The former Pennsylvania senator is one of four Republicans including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin, who will be announced Tuesday as primetime convention speakers. They join seven others who Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus announced Monday would address the convention.
Santorum will be Romney's first rival for the GOP nomination to be named as a speaker at the convention, which will be held in Tampa later this month.
Santorum, whose shoe string nomination run was fueled by conservative support, never developed a close personal or political relationship with Romney following the primary. Giving Santorum a primetime speaking role may help quell speculation about animosity that exists between the two men.
Paul is the son of retiring Texas Rep. Ron Paul, who also unsuccessfully sought the GOP nomination. The Kentucky senator is well regarded by tea party activists and will likely inherit his father's political machine that is comprised of an eclectic group of anti-government, young, libertarian minded activists. Sen. Paul is said to be looking at running for president in 2016 if Romney loses in November. It is unclear if Rep. Paul will also speak at the convention.
Bush, a popular former Florida governor, is the son of former President George H.W. Bush and brother of former President G.W. Bush. He passed on a chance to run for president, himself, and drew buzz as a possible vice presidential running mate for Romney earlier this year.
Fallin is a former congresswoman, who was elected governor in 2010.
Exact days and times for each speaker will not be released by the RNC at this time.