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Christie to deliver keynote at GOP convention

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie campaigns with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in January.

Charles Dharapak/AP

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie campaigns with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in January.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will deliver the keynote address at this month’s Republican National Convention, and Florida Senator Marco Rubio will introduce Mitt Romney in Tampa before he accepts the GOP presidential nomination.

Christie’s reputation as a fiscal conservative and straight talker have made him an increasingly prominent figure in the Republican Party. He was the subject of early speculation about a presidential bid this year but decided not to run.

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“As governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie has proven how bold Republican leadership gets results,” Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement.

“We have an opportunity in Tampa to make clear that if we tell each other the hard truths, tackle the big problems, and make bold choices, we will see America’s comeback,” he added.

Christie told USA Today, which reported his speaking role first, that he will “try to tell some very direct and hard truths to people in the country about the trouble that we’re in and the fact that fixing those problems is not going to be easy for any of them.”

Rubio is another rising Republican star, a first-term senator who has been a high-profile surrogate for Romney throughout the campaign. He was rumored to be a vice presidential contender, but Romney announced his selection of Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan over the weekend.

Romney Campaign Manager Matt Rhoades called Rubio a leader “who will play an important role in shaping the future of the Republican Party” in a statement.

The Tampa Bay Times was the first to report his role at the convention, which will be held Aug. 27-30.

“Future generations of Americans depend on the hard work we will do in the weeks and months ahead,” Rubio said in a statement. “I know that together we will be successful in changing Washington and putting leaders in place who are committed to creating more jobs and opportunities for our people.”

Callum Borchers can be reached at callum.borchers@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @callumborchers.
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