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Schwarzenegger Skipping GOP Convo; Thompson Gets a Promotion

2:00 AM, Aug 30, 2008 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
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California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is skipping the Republican National Convention this week in Minnesota to manage an ongoing budget dispute in Sacramento. Republican officials say Fred Thompson will take his place in the prime-time lineup Monday night and onetime presidential candidate will have nearly three times longer to speak than he was originally given for his speech on Tuesday.

Schwarzenegger hinted that he might skip the convention at a press conference in Los Angeles on Wednesday. "The work for the people of California, and to solve this budget problem, is the most important thing right now for me," he said.

Thompson, who is launching a new political action committee -- FredPAC -- in conjunction with the start of the convention, will now have twenty minutes to speak rather than seven. Other speakers Monday night include Vice President Dick Cheney and President George W. Bush.