TAMPA (CBSMiami/NSF) — Florida Sen. Marco Rubio will introduce GOP nominee Mitt Romney at the Republican National Convention, convention officials said Tuesday.

It will give Rubio, a freshman senator who has become one of the most high profile in his party already, a national TV spotlight that could help lay the groundwork for a future presidential bid.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a favorite among fiscal conservatives in the party, will give the keynote address, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.

Just last week, Rubio was still seen as a possible contender for the No. 2 spot on the Republican ticket. Though Romney chose House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, the GOP clearly wants the appeal that Rubio — 41 years old, Hispanic, the son of Cuban immigrants, with speaking skills that resonate both with establishment Republicans and tea party insurgents — can bring to the campaign.

On Monday in Miami, Rubio introduced Romney at El Palacio de los Jugos in West Dade where he gave his standard stump speech — with no mention of Medicare or Cuba.

“The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.”




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