August 30th, 2008
04:31 PM ET
6 years ago

McCain suggests Gustav could disrupt Republican convention

(CNN) – As Hurricane Gustav's power increased and the storm bore down on the Gulf Coast, Republicans grappled with the problems both logistical and political.

Republicans are acutely sensitive to any suggestion that they might be sending the wrong impression by celebrating while Gustav, currently a Category 4 hurricane, batters the Gulf Coast. It is an image that might revive memories of the Bush administration's missteps in the days following Katrina in 2005.

Asked by a Fox News Sunday interviewer whether he officials might consider suspending the convention if the storm devastates the Gulf Coast, McCain would not rule it out, saying that he was afraid "we're going to have to look at that situation and we'll try to monitor it." He added that he was in contact with governors in the affected states.

"I've been talking to all of them, but you know it just wouldn't be appropriate to have a festive occasion while a near tragedy or a terrible challenge is presented in the form of a natural disaster," he said. "So we're monitoring it from day to day, and I'm saying a few prayers too."

Beyond the question of whether delegates and high-profile guests can make it to the convention safely is what happens when they arrive in St. Paul and Minneapolis.


Last week there were reports that the storm might keep President Bush from visiting and speaking Monday night, the convention's first. In a McCain campaign conference call Saturday, RNC Deputy Chairman Frank Donatelli said that they were very aware of the situation, though he didn't think that moving the convention was a possibility.

And as the nation's attention turns to the biggest storm of this hurricane season to threaten the United States, reporters and voters alike may find their attention riveted by events far from Minneapolis-St. Paul, site of the Republican convention.

"Like all Americans, our prayers are with those who will be affected by Hurricane Gustav," said convention president and CEO Maria Cino. "We continue to closely monitor the movement of the storm and are considering necessary contingencies. ..."

"The safety of our affected delegations is our first priority and preparing for Gustav comes before anything else."

soundoff (86 Responses)
  1. Sur

    McSame doesn't want competition from a hurricane. That's the real motivation.

    August 30, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  2. Lisa in NC

    Well he was celebrating his birthaday with bush during Katrina
    why would Gustav make any difference to him.

    August 30, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  3. Wake up America

    Hurricane OBAMA will disrupt McCain's chances in November!!!

    OBAMA / Biden 08 = officially, the most experienced ticket

    P.S: Still laughing at the Palin pick.. hahahhahahhaa

    August 30, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  4. srini

    Bobby Jindal of LA is supposed to speak on Day 3. I don't think he will maybe they will move him to Day 4?

    August 30, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  5. exrepublican

    thats what mcCane gets for encouraging people to pray for rain at Obama's acceptance speech.........

    August 30, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  6. Obama Supporter VA

    A simple ploy so BUSHY won;t have to speak.

    Forget it McSame we already know your DNA and it Same old Same Old.....

    August 30, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  7. Luv/Canada

    IF YOU DUMP AMERICANS VOTE BACK REPUBLICANS INTO OFFICE AGAIN,YOUR ASYLUM WILL NOT BE GRANTED HERE IN CANADA BCUZ YOU ALL WILL BE CONSIDER AN ECONOMY MIGRANT.
    WOULDN'T BE SUPPRISE ANYWAY,YOU DID IT TWICE BEFORE,VOTING DUMP BEST PRESIDENT THE WORLD EVER SEEING.

    August 30, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  8. K of TX

    They're REALLY hoping the hurricane will present an excuse for Pres. George W. Bush not to be seen with his economic clone John McCain....

    If they could air-brush he and Cheney right out of the Republican party, they would do it in a heart-beat!

    Obama/Biden '08

    August 30, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  9. ANGEL

    "GOD AND NATURE DONT LIKE UGLY"

    August 30, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  10. MOST REPUBLICAN PARTY ARE AGENTS FROM HELL

    DO THESE REPUBLICANS KNOW HOW TO SPEAK WITHOUT BS. THE WORLD KNOWS WHAT BOTH BUSH AND McBUSH WERE DOING WHEN KATRINA VICTIMS WERE WANDERING AROUND THAT DEVISTATED MAJOR AMERICAN CITY, HAVING A FESTIVE BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION!!!!!!!PICTURES OF THEM BLOWING OUT THE CAKE DON'T LIE, McBUSH MAY BUT PICTURE DON'T! THEY FLEW OVER THE SITE TOGETHER WITHOUT LANDING ON THEIR WAY TO THE PARTY!

    THESE REPUBLICANS ARE GOING TO HAVE TO GIVE AN ACCOUNT FOR THEIR LIES AND DECEIT JUST LIKE ALL OF US, BUT IT'S GOING TO BE EXTRA BAD FOR THEM, AFTER ALL THEY DO PROCLAIM THEMSELVES TO BE THE GUARDIANS OF GOD'S PRINCPLES, DON' T THEY?

    WHEN YOU KNOW TO DO RIGHT, BUT DON'T IT'S A SIN! THOSE THAT CLAIM TO BE TEACHERS OF GOD'S WORD ARE GOING TO BE JUDGED MORE STRICTER! NOW THAT'S THE TRUE WORD OF GOD, DEAL WITH IT!

    LIARS, CHEATS, CONNIVING SCUM AND BY ALL MEANS HYPOCRICS

    August 30, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  11. Repugnant Party feels Karma

    What an irony! Didn't some crackpot (Kevin Dobson?) encourage all his flock to pray for rain to disrupt Obama's acceptance speech?

    You reap what you sow, haters.

    I'm just thankful that it looks like, with the glaring lights of the press making sure that more innocent lives are lost and/or washed away while McSame/Bush/Cheney eat cake THIS time, residents of the affected areas will be taken care of.

    August 30, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  12. Dennis

    Yep, after all, there goes the great plans for Obama-burying non-stop press coverage . . .best wait until you can recapture the limelight, you are going to need every bit of it.

    August 30, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  13. John, FL

    It's a sign.. I think the earth is angry at Bush's failed policies.

    August 30, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  14. Celeste

    Wouldn't that be something. Dr. James Dobson was calling on those on the 'right' to pray for rain to wash out the Democratic Convention. Wouldn't it be ironic if the Republican Convention was 'washed out' instead. In the secular world, the new word is Karma. The bible on the other hand says we reap what we sow. It just goes to show that you must not wish ill for others, even when you have fundamental disagreements. That was such an un-Christian thing to say, but then I have come to expect anything of the so-called extremist 'religious right' Republican machinery. You make other Christians look bad. That being said, I personally wish everyone in the path of the hurricane God's protection, please keep safe. May the Lord protect and deliver you all from harm and danger. I pray also that lives and properties will be spared. God bless you all....To the Republicans and their convention: I wish you well. It's only fair for you to have a chance to do your thing.

    August 30, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  15. concern

    John Mccain's only care about how much TV coverage he may loose to the storm! He could careless about the people whom may be affected by the storm!!

    August 30, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  16. MOST IN THE REPUBLICAN PARTY ARE AGENTS FROM HELL

    BY THE WAY BUSH HAS ALREADY ANSWERED THIS QUESTION, HE SAID YES HE WILL STILL ATTEND THE CONVENTION AFTER ALL HE'S ON HIS WAY OUT AND COULD NOT CARE WHAT ANYONE THINKS AT THIS POINT, IT'S NOT LIKE IT'S GOING TO RESTORE HIS RATINGS AND WE ALL KNOW THESE REPUBLICAN LEADERS DON'T DO ANYTHING UNLESS THEY CAN BENDFIT FROM IT, OH HOW THEY FORGET GOD AND HIS PRINCPLES WHEN THEY INTERFER WITH WHAT THEY THEMSELVES WANT!!!!

    August 30, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  17. Mary, Dallas

    By the way, who cares what Cindy has to say? She rich and yet she still allows her husband to degrade her. Has anyone seen any pictures with the adopted child? Where is she?

    August 30, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  18. sacto joe

    The evidence is strong that global warming (which McCain's new VP candidate doesn't believe in!) is increasing the size and number of hurricanes.

    August 30, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  19. Jeremy Sun

    It's called KARMA!

    August 30, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  20. God in Control

    While people believe that God controls destiny, I would like to point out the irony of the fact that another HUGE hurricane bears down on the Gulf coast of the United States which was a defining moment for me to see that the Republican Administration in power at the time of Katrina reacted so poorly. So now even if they react as they should it is too late. GOD is reminding the world on the eve of the Republican convention that they are not the favorite as they believe they are. Religious right take notice. Conservatives take notice. You have failed in your responsibility the world over. While trying to steal the thunder from the Democratic convention and Mr. Obama's speech on Thursday night with a surprise pick of a no experience, no name person from a far reraching place, the choice back fired by being overshadowed by natural forces. God is trying to tell you something Republicans. Take note! It is time for a change.

    Remember what the bible says – Those who take the sword perish by the sword. War is not the answer nor is it always by military force but by love which in this case means diplomacy.

    What an insult to women Mr. McCain.

    August 30, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  21. ran

    Mcain it is not the weather that is going to disrupt the convention. It is your policies and pick for VP.

    People vote Obama/Biden and other Democrars to get our country back.

    August 30, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  22. Yvenst Miami

    Even mother nature does not want Mccain elected.

    August 30, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  23. William

    First I would like to say I really do love every person because the Bible tells me so! But as the bible says God will bless those who will bless you and afflict those for their bad acts! If by any Chances Hurricane Gustav happen to have any effects on the Republicans Convention then all I can say is may God Bless them all! The Democrats had a good time at their Convention and I hope the Republicans do also, but I am still praying for the people of Hurricane Katrina. I just hope if something bad happens President Bush would just fly around in his air plain looking down at the people as if it is their fault a Hurricane has come. And John McCain needs not to try to use a tragic situation to collect funds for his campaign that would even be too low for any Republican. May God Bless American!

    August 30, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  24. Willow, in Iowa

    And Dobson and all of his cronies prayed for rain on Obama's convention speech at Invesco. And instead, the RNC gets rain in the southlands. While I hope no one gets hurt in hurricane Gustav, sounds like Karma is showing itself.

    August 30, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  25. Jeff Brown

    Yes, the GOP has a proven track record of concern for the poor people of the gulf coast!!!!!

    August 30, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
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