Michigan AG Schuette asked to speak at GOP convention

Chad Livengood
Detroit News Lansing Bureau

Lansing — Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said Tuesday he’s been asked to speak Monday during the opening day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

Schuette announced the prized speaking spot in a campaign email to supporters.

“I am excited about this opportunity because by working together in Cleveland to build a unified team, we will take back the presidency. We simply will not turn the keys to the White House over to Hillary Clinton,” Schuette wrote in the note to supporters. “And Cleveland is where it all starts.”

Schuette said his exact speaking time during Monday’s opening session of the convention inside Quicken Loans Arena remains unknown.

The Republican National Committee has scheduled the convention to begin at 1 p.m., but no other details about other speakers or the agenda have been released.

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus asked Schuette to speak, according to Schuette spokesman John Sellek.

“Bill has been talking with Reince and his team for some time about it,” Sellek said Tuesday. “He is excited to address the delegates.”

Schuette’s email did not mention presumed Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump by name.

But Schuette has since said he will vote for Trump over Clinton, despite misgivings about Trump’s controversial comments about women, minorities and the war record of 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain.

“All those things are deplorable,” Schuette said June 28 about Trump’s rhetoric.

During the early primaries, Schuette was an ardent support of Jeb Bush, chairing Bush’s Michigan campaign and traveling to Iowa and New Hampshire to campaign for the former Florida governor.

Bush dropped out of the race after a fourth-place finish in the Feb. 20 South Carolina primary, which Trump won. Schuette remained neutral for the rest of the primaries until Trump locked up the nomination in May, when he pledged to support the nominee.

Schuette of Midland is a second-term attorney general widely believed to be preparing for a 2018 gubernatorial campaign. He’s previously been a Court of Appeals judge, a state senator, director of the state agriculture department and a congressman.

On Saturday night, Schuette is hosting a “street party” in the Cleveland viaducts for Michigan Republicans attending the national convention as delegates, alternates or guests.

The RNC expects the national convention to attract 50,000 visitors to Cleveland, including 15,000 members of the media.

clivengood@detroitnews.com

(517) 371-3661

Twitter: @ChadLivengood