Republican National Convention speakers list revealed: Trump's barely famous friends set to take the stage in Cleveland

So much for his grand promises of "showbiz" coming to Cleveland. Antonio Sabato Jr.? Really?

By Sophia Tesfaye
July 14, 2016 8:27PM (UTC)
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(Erik Drost / Flickr)

"It's very important to put some showbiz into a convention, otherwise people are going to fall asleep," Donald Trump said back in April.

Well, the Republican National Convention released a partial list Thursday of the few politicians, D-list celebrities and numerous Donald Trump family members who will be speaking at next week’s convention and boy, so much for showbiz.


Trump's managed to wrangle a former "Real World" cast member, a professional golfer, who is currently ranked 484th in the world, the president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, and Peter Thiel -- but that is basically it.

Delegates will be treated to an array of riveting speakers like soap opera star Antonio Sabato Jr. and Heisman trophy winner Tim Tebow. Former "Real World" house guest turned Republican Congressman Sean Duffy has agreed to speak, after earlier sounding hesitant about his role.

To kick off the festivities in Cleveland on Monday, Trump and Republicans plan to host a "Bengazhi themed" night highlighting the September 11, 2012 attacks, according to The New York Times. The Times also reported that the RNC will feature a presentation outlining former President Bill Clinton’s sex life at some point during the convention.


Nearly all of Trump's children are set to speak at the convention next week, and even his wife, Melina, plans to address the nation.

While vocal Trump supporter Sarah Palin is conspicuously missing from the list, Trump backer and and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel appears to be the first openly gay person to speak at a GOP convention.

The GOP's past two nominees, Mitt Romney and John McCain, along with the entire Bush family, will not be in Cleveland next week.


Below is a partial confirmed list, notice all of the notable Republicans missing:

Pastor Mark Burns                                                     
Phil Ruffin                                                               
Congressman Ryan Zinke                                        
Pat Smith                                                                  
Mark Geist                                                                
John Tiegen                                                             
Congressman Michael McCaul                                 
Sheriff David Clarke                                                 
Congressman Sean Duffy                                        
Darryl Glenn                                                            
Senator Tom Cotton                                                   
Karen Vaughn                         
Governor Mike Huckabee                                       
Mayor Rudy Giuliani                                              
Melania Trump                                                         
Senator Joni Ernst                                               
Kathryn Gates-Skipper                            
Marcus Luttrell                                         
Dana White             
Governor Asa Hutchinson   
Attorney General Leslie Rutledge    
Michael Mukasey 
Andy Wist          
Senator Jeff Sessions        
Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn   
Alex Smith         
Speaker Paul Ryan
Congressman Kevin McCarthy 
Kerry Woolard
Senator Shelley Moore Capito 
Dr. Ben Carson
Co-Chair Sharon Day
Natalie Gulbis
Kimberlin Brown
Antonio Sabato, Jr.
Peter Thiel
Eileen Collins
Senator Ted Cruz
Newt Gingrich
Michelle Van Etten
Lynne Patton
Eric Trump
Harold Hamm
Congressman Chris Collins
Brock Mealer
Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn
Governor Mary Fallin
Darrell Scott
Lisa Shin
Governor Rick Scott
Chairman Reince Priebus
Tom Barrack
Ivanka Trump
Attorney General Pam Bondi
Jerry Falwell Jr.
Rabbi Haskel Lookstein
Chris Cox
Senator Mitch McConnell
Tiffany Trump
Governor Chris Christie
Donald J. Trump Jr.
Governor Scott Walker


Here are more details from the Times:

Night 1: A Benghazi focus, followed by border patrol agents and Mr. Shaw, whose son was killed by an undocumented immigrant. Senator Cotton, Mr. Giuliani, Melania Trump, Ms. Ernst and others.

Night 2: A focus on the economy: Mr. White, president of the U.F.C.; Asa Hutchinson, the governor of Arkansas; Michael Mukasey, the former United States attorney general; Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, a vice-presidential possibility; Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader; Tiffany Trump; Donald Trump Jr. and Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin.

Night 3: Ms. Bondi; Ms. Collins; Newt Gingrich, a former House speaker; Senator Ted Cruz of Texas; Eric Trump; Ms. Gulbis; and the nominee for vice president.

Night 4: Mr. Tebow; Representative Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee; Gov. Mary Fallin of Oklahoma; Reince Priebus, the Republican National Committeechairman; Gov. Rick Scott of Florida; Mr. Thiel; Mr. Barrack; Ivanka Trump; Donald J. Trump.


Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's Deputy Politics Editor and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

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