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Republican convention will feature tribute to Ron Paul

 

The Republican National Convention will pay tribute to Texas Rep. Ron Paul during the second night of its convention. 

Romney campaign adviser Russ Schriefer told reporters on Friday that the Romney campaign had assented to requests by Paul supporters to air a "short" film paying tribute to the retiring Texas congressman, who's attracted a devoted following in his two bids for the GOP presidential nomination. 

The film — along with a speaking slot Monday for the congressman's son, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul — is a nod toward the influence of Ron Paul, whose supporters, convention organizers have worried, might stir a small commotion during the roll call vote to nominate Romney. 

Richard Clement / Reuters

Rep. Ron Paul

Schriefer confirmed that convention delegates would vote to formally nominate Romney for president on Monday; the presumptive Republican nominee would become the official Republican nominee on Thursday night, when he accepts the nomination. (At this point, Romney would be able to access and spend funds he has raised for use in the general election campaign.)

Top Talkers: The Cycle host joins the Morning Joe panel to talk about the upcoming speeches at the Republican National Convention and to explain why Mitt Romney "needs a moment where he looks presidential"  to excite the base and have them rally around him. The panel also discusses the possibility of Romney receiving the nomination early.

Television networks have signaled that they will only broadcast three nights of coverage, raising the possibility that Monday's festivities — including a planned speech by Ann Romney — would be missed by a national audience. Schriefer wouldn't shoot down rumors that the Romney campaign might move Ann Romney's speech if the networks don't extend their coverage plans.

"I'm optimistic that the right thing will be done," he said. 

Other features of the convention include plans to feature fellow members of Romney's Mormon church, and 15 Olympians — meant to highlight Romney's widely acclaimed tenure as head of the Salt Lake City Olympics. Three Olympians will speak, most prominently Mike Eruzione, the captain of the 1980 U.S. "Miracle on Ice" Olympic hockey team. 

Organizers are pushing ahead with planning despite warnings of a major storm turning toward Tampa, the site of the convention. Schriefer boasted in particular of the modern backdrop onstage of speakers, which he described as a "Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired piece of architecture."