TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is planning to discuss veterans' issues with the Republican National Convention via satellite Wednesday as 2008 presidential nominee John McCain speaks in person.
Romney is set to fly to Indianapolis Wednesday morning to address the American Legion. Republican officials said they are finalizing plans for the 2012 nominee to make a remote appearance at the ongoing convention to discuss veterans' concerns in conjunction with McCain, a Navy veteran and former prisoner of war.
The 2012 Republican nominee is making a daylong detour to Indiana to speak to the veterans' service organization in person even as delegates are still gathered in Tampa. McCain — nominated in St. Paul, Minn., four years ago, only to lose to Democrat Barack Obama — will address the delegates Wednesday evening.
McCain is expected to discuss national security and defense issues. In recent weeks, McCain has led a tour of Republican senators to presidential battleground states, including Nevada, faulting Democrats for not acting to stop automatic defense cuts that would begin next year unless Congress steps in.
The address means Romney will appear, in some way, on all three nights of his convention. He was in the hall Tuesday evening as his wife, Ann, gave a sweeping speech aimed at showcasing his personal side. He plans to return Thursday for his own convention address.
The convention schedule — and Romney's plans — promise a focus on foreign affairs ahead of Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan's Wednesday speech, the last item on the day's agenda. McCain is set to speak at 8 p.m. while former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will address foreign policy later in the evening.
Officials said they're still finalizing plans for how Romney and McCain's appearances will be coordinated. The former Massachusetts governor was formally nominated as the Republican Party's presidential candidate on Tuesday.
In a Tuesday interview, McCain said he was glad to have a role in Romney's convention, however small.
"It's not my show," the five-term Arizona senator said. "I'm just grateful they asked me to speak."