caption="McCain addressed Republican delegates Sunday."]St. Paul (CNN) – Sen. John McCain said the Republican National Convention will suspend most of the activities scheduled Monday because of Hurricane Gustav.
“We’ll pray for the best and prepare for the worst,” the presumptive Republican presidential candidate said Sunday, quoting Gulf Coast Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour.
Campaign manager Rick Davis said Republicans would meet in an abbreviated fashion, conducting only what was necessary to constitute a convention, such as calling the convention to order, receiving a report from the credentials committee and adopting the party platform.
“Tomorrow’s program will be business only and will refrain from any political rhetoric,” he said.
The convention will begin at its regularly scheduled time, 3 p.m. CT. Davis said the convention would adjourn around 5 or 5:30 PM.
The GOP’s four-day program was originally scheduled to begin Monday in St. Paul, Minnesota. Davis said the rest of the week would be determined on a day-by-day basis.
Earlier Sunday, Sen. John McCain said it wouldn't be appropriate to hold a political celebration during the storm.
"We must redirect our efforts from the really celebratory event of the nomination of president and vice president of our party to acting as all Americans," he said, adding that it was likely the event would change into a "call to the nation for action."
"I pledge that tomorrow night, and if necessary, throughout our convention ... to act as Americans, not Republicans, because America needs us now no matter whether we are Republican or Democrat," he said.
Also on Sunday, the White House announced that President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney would not be in attendance.
UPDATE: John McCain will attend some small events Monday in Pennsylvania, a senior aide tells CNN. The aide, though, notes that McCain doesn’t “have a really busy day” as he keeps a close eye on Hurricane Gustav.
The senior aide also said that the campaign has asked the state parties “to be all very respectful” given the situation and to help raise money for various relief agencies.
Remember, Bush and Cheney decided not to attend the convention first, then the whole show was abbreviated. This was a quick way out for a very unpopular president.
No one prays for a hurricane that can hurt people, but McCain and company are actually very lucky to have a reason NOT to try to defend the Bush policies for four days.
I'm in full support of the RNC for making this decision. It's in full accordance with the RNC position on service to country. Instead of putting all of our hopes in Washington, we should put more trust in each other and serve each other. This decision is perfectly in line with the Republican philosophy of neighbor helping neighbor in times of need. Forget Washington for the moment! Let's roll up our sleeves and get to work on this problem on the Gulf Coast. Thanks, RNC.
Look up McCain's voting record for the Katrina investigation.
Some americans still remember seeing images of americans drowning on tv and the disinterest of both Bush and McCain – it was all about THE WAR ON TERROR IN IRAQ. Where are those WMDS? Meanwhile americans struggle for life.
Let them eat cake. Brother...give it a rest repubs. You can't take the high ground with such bankrupt ethics and morals.
The Dems are not politicizing Gustav, but the Republicans certainly are. Because Bush decided NOT to initially visit the Katrina damage, it has made his handlers nervous whenever a natural disaster has befallen any region in the US ever since. It shouldn't preclude him or Cheney from making a brief appearence at the RNC, however. Aren't they supposed to work with one another anyway? The simple "inconvenient truth" is that Bush and Cheney's appearance, even early in the convention and as distant as possible from McCain's acceptance speech, will still serve as a reminder of the blunders of the current administration. McCain's handlers would have liked nothing better than to avoid that stigma, and now they have an excuse to do so. As our thoughts turn to those who are in harm's way, I can't help but believe this is less about them, and more about distancing the presumptive GOP candidate from the reminders of a failed president and his policies.
I am praying for the people in the Gulf Coast States. I hope everyone makes it out safely.
Did anyone see the video of McCain in Washington PA yesterday? He had to read from a card the name of his vice president and where she came from.....oh my god. He doesn't even know who his running with him.
As far as the RNC, they should just make a post on CNN or at the convention center which reads: 2008 Republican National Convention..... please refer to the 2004 and 2000 convention for more our stance on the issues and what we are going to do for the country!!
I guarantee you John Mccain will use this hurricane to his advantage... he'll do anything to make himself look powerful and noble and strong, and to get a vote.
I don't trust him, and his choice of candidate for Vice president makes me question his judgement even more.
Our country is doomed if he and Palin win this election.
McCain is doing the right thing by limiting the Convention and paying attention to the Gustav INSTEAD of celebrating his birthday with President Bush during Katrina.
IT'S JUST VERY UNFORTUNATE that it takes McCain running for President for him to really care this time around.
God, please watch over all those in Gustav's path!
Why does McCain read everything. Even with a simple introduction he seems unsure. He!, the next President..?. Come on McCain..you can do better. Can you?
While John McCain was beginning to express concern for the situation two days ago, all O-blah-blah could say, " Well, I hope they don't make the same mistakes this time." And what, exactly, did O-blah-blah do to help during the Katrina disaster?
McCain/Palin - to bring respect and sanity back to this great country!!!!!!!!!!!!
YOU BRAG UP OBAMA NOW ABOUT KATRINA. HE SURE DIDN'T GO THERE EARLIER THIS YR. WHEN THEY WANTED HIM TO. HRC DID. YOU NAIVE LOST MINDED O.B. SUPPORTERS FORGET SO SOON. HIS EXCUSE WAS TO KEEP GOING IN HIS RACE. HRC WAS LOOSIN AND STILL WENT TO THEIR SIDES ,AND A FUNERAL FOR A FELLOW OFFICER. SO YOU MORONS DONT COME WEAK AGAINST MCCAIN. WORRY ABOUT YOUR CANIDATE. HE IS SO FULL OF B.S. ,AND YOU ALL KISS THE GROUND HE WALKS ON. THERE IS A SAYING .WHAT GLITTERS IS NOT ALWAYS GOLD THINK ABOUT IT .
McCain being in the Mississippi area is pointless show-boating. He can't do anything at this point. Even as a Senator. The evacuations and preparations don't need his authority to proceed or get any more done. It doesn't show that he cares more than others that he went there. That was simply show-boating.
As others have said, the McCain website has no mention of the hurricane at all. The Obama website has news on who you can contact if you want to help as well as contact information if you live in the area and need help getting out.
Altering the RNC Convention was the right thing to do though.
I find it disgusting that McCain would say it was time to take off his Republican hat and put on his American hat. He is making it seem like when is Republican hat is on, he is not American. Obama seems able to keep his Democratic hat on while still being a caring and concerned American.
McCain is thankful for this time...you can tell things were spinning out of control after this VP pick-now he get to take a breath-he gets rid of Bush & Cheney-it gives little miss sinshine to prepare for the question portion of the pagent-remember now you can't use "I want world peace".
Him and his peeps were being bombarded this morning with question re vp-stopping the party, stops the spotlight
I find it pretty funny to see McCain next to a monitor that is measuring his windage as he speaks. Pretty impressive!