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  1. Florida Politics

Of Mitt Romney's gaffe and Paul Ryan's Tampa Bay plans

Published Aug. 11, 2012

'The next president'

There was an awkward moment Saturday when Mitt Romney first introduced Rep. Paul Ryan in Norfolk, Va., as "the next president of the United States." After discovering his gaffe, Romney wrapped an arm around his running mate and declared him the next "vice president!" Keep in mind that Barack Obama made the same mistake introducing Joe Biden as his running mate in August 2008: "So let me introduce to you the next president — the next vice president of the United States of America, Joe Biden."

The convention and Ryan

Ryan will get a prime-time speaking spot at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, though time/day are unknown. Typically the vice presidential nominee speaks Wednesday night, with the presidential nominee closing out Thursday. In the past week, a number of speakers were named for the Aug. 27-30 Tampa Bay Times Forum event, but no schedule is set. It's worth noting that the Wisconsin delegation scored one of the best hotel assignments: the Hyatt Regency Tampa, just .4 miles from the Forum. That's likely because Wisconsin is also the home state of Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus.

Ryan in Tampa Bay next weekend

The Romney campaign is wasting no time getting Ryan on the fundraising trail, with a tentative 10-date schedule, including a dinner reception next Saturday at The Club at Treasure Island expected to raise at least $1 million. No more information was available. The fundraising schedule spans 11 days starting Monday in Colorado, then hits Ohio, Virginia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Missouri, Michigan and New Hampshire.

Rivalry debut

Vice President Biden called Ryan to congratulate him and say he's looking forward to engaging Ryan in what he's calling a "clear choice voters face this November." Biden and Ryan are scheduled to meet in a vice presidential debate, Oct. 11 in Danville, Ky. The Obama campaign says that Biden encouraged Ryan to enjoy the day with his family.

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