After California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) decided not to attend the Republican National Convention, the RNC replaced him with former senator Fred Thompson, who gave the speech originally intended for Schwarzenegger. The California governor told Der Spiegel that he was ordered to focus on McCain’s biography; that way, the campaign could prevent him from talking about “centrist policies”:
SCHWARZENEGGER: The speech I would have given is the one that Fred Thompson gave. I gave him my speech because I did not go to the convention. It was a great speech because it talked in minute detail about McCain’s torture and his being a POW, and that’s the speech that the party wanted me to give. Why? Because this way I don’t go and talk about centrist politics and maybe rub some people the wrong way. That’s another stage.