South Carolina’s Lt. Gov. Henry McMaster has earned a speaking spot at the Republican National Convention.
GOP nominee Donald Trump has asked McMaster to deliver one of two speeches nominating him Tuesday, said the Columbia Republican, who surprised friends in January when he became the first statewide elected official in the country to endorse the bombastic New York billionaire.
It’s “quite an honor,” McMaster told reporters Monday at the convention. “He’s going to be a great president.”
Trump went on to South Carolina’s first-in-the-South Republican primary with 33 percent of the vote.
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The nominating speech, which will begin at 5:30 p.m., is an “historic role” and honor, said Ed McMullen, Trump’s S.C. state chairman.
Another early endorser of Trump, U.S. Rep. Chris Collins, R-New York, also will give a nominating speech, McMullen said.
Trump called McMaster about two weeks ago to discuss the role the South Carolinian would play at the convention.
McMaster said he is not nervous about the speech. He said he is working on his remarks and has not received any notes yet from the Trump campaign.
The speaking role puts McMaster, who is mulling a run for S.C. governor in 2018, in a spotlight he has never been in before.
In 2008, then-U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz, asked McMaster to be his convention sergeant at arms – a reward for McMaster’s support in the state’s GOP primary.
Hey, he did basic at Fort Jackson
Speakers at a Monday breakfast for South Carolina’s GOP convention delegation were slim on references to Donald Trump.
The delegation heard from U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., for the second time in three months. A potential 2020 presidential hopeful, Cotton headlined the state party’s Silver Elephant Dinner in May.
Cotton stuck to a foreign-policy heavy stump speech as he did in Columbia in May, after Trump’s inevitability as the GOP nominee snapped into focus.
The attorney and U.S. Army veteran also touted his ties to the first-in-the-South primary state. Cotton attended basic training in the U.S. Army at Columbia’s Fort Jackson.
Delegates also heard from U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, R-Springdale, and Fox News national security analyst K.T. McFarland, who interviewed retired U.S. Air Force Gen. Richard Hawley.
Asking the veterans among the S.C. delegation to identify themselves, McFarland said, "This is the group that is going to make America great again,” a play on Trump’s campaign slogan.
SC delegates not part of revolt
S.C. delegates did not participate in a revolt Monday against the convention’s rules. The state was not among those that demanded a roll-call vote — unsuccessfully — after a voice vote adopted the rules.
A valuable perk? A nearby hotel
South Carolina's support for Trump may or may not be the reason for another perk. The S.C. delegates are staying in a hotel just a short walk from Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena, where all the convention action is taking place this week. Some delegations are staying in suburban hotels, forcing them to make long commutes each day.
Haley absent but not forgotten
S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley gets to Cleveland on Tuesday. But S.C. delegates attending a Republican Governors Association event Monday did get to watch a 2013 video of her speaking, the Post and Courier reported.