Gov. Chris Christie and Mitt Romney(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
By Catalina Camia, USA TODAY
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has been tapped to give the keynote address at the Republican National Convention next month in Tampa, according to NBC News.
Christie, a popular governor who decided against running for president, is a frequent surrogate for Mitt Romney. Today, he is helping his party's standard-bearer raise campaign funds.
While Christie has been frequently mentioned as a possible Romney running mate, he has said repeatedly that he is not interested in being vice president.
Christie, 49, was first elected in 2009 after a stint as the top federal prosecutor in New Jersey. He is known for his sometimes blunt speaking style and has won plaudits within the Republican Party for dealing with the state's fiscal issues.
The keynote address at political conventions is typically a coveted job that gives the speaker a high-profile spotlight. Barack Obama, then a little-known candidate running for the U.S. Senate, catapulted into national prominence when he gave the keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic convention in Boston.
Previous GOP convention keynote speakers include former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani in 2008 and Colin Powell, then the retired chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in 2000.
Republicans will gather at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on Aug. 27-30 to formally nominate Romney for president.