Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, Gov. Asa Hutchinson, U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee are among those slated to speak at the Republican National Convention next week in Cleveland. Hutchinson and Cotton revealed Wednesday they would be speaking. The names of Rutledge and Huckabee are also on a list of speakers that was released Thursday by organizers of the convention.
Huckabee was one of several contenders for the Republican nomination for president, but suspended his campaign after a poor showing in the Iowa Caucuses in January.
Rutledge, who is serving her first term as the state’s attorney general, is already in Cleveland and has been serving on the national party's platform committee.
She spoke with NPR reporter Brian Naylor in an interview regarding the platform committee’s decision to maintain language opposing same-sex marriage:
Rutledge, who is Arkansas' attorney general, says gays and lesbians are welcome in the party. She says delegates who spoke out against amendments by Hoff and others were not speaking out against the LGBT community.
"It was including any specific groups," Rutledge says. "I have many friends, close friends who are
LGBT and that we must reach out to. They are Republican and so we are a big tent party."