August 31st, 2008
04:45 PM ET
10 years ago

McCain: Some activities to be suspended

McCain said most of Monday's events will be canceled.

McCain said most of Monday's events will be canceled.

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.

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Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (113 Responses)
  1. John McGimmick

    He has no idea what to do.

    August 31, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |

    Wow! all for show. Do we have that picture of Mccain giving Bush a cake during katrina celebrating something? Now Bush and Cheney who never wanted to go to the convention so Mcsame can't be seen in the same bed with them get an excuse not to go. If there wasn't an election Bush would be on vacation like during Katrina. Mccain you are just an evil person and im surprised the race is this close. Oh yeah news for Palin clinton put 18million cracks in the ceiling for president not vice president. (Im glad we are seeing the only reason shes on the ticket though)

    August 31, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  3. Susan


    August 31, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  4. MarioB. from Berlin

    it's a shame. He does not have any substance, the GOP and the RNC would note have either, so let's do as if you would like americans and make it a fundraiser... come on, where was their fundraising idea 3 years ago?
    uuh right at McShames B-day party...

    i don't buy it, they just fundraise to help the people that are in need. They simply fundraise to win an election despite not having a good Presidential candidate nor a good VP-pick nor the ability to change something in America for America.

    August 31, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  5. Tempered

    You can cancel whatever you want, McCain. It won't erase a single memory of the Katrina fiasco from our minds. Can you say "criminal negligence"? Yeah, I didn't think so.

    My thoughts are with the Gulf Coast residents. Be well and be safe!

    August 31, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  6. Matt

    I agree with the other commenters, in that I believe McCain and co. are just doing this to show that they and their party are just pandering to show that they're the only ones who can respond to an emergency. If the Democratic convention occured during the same time and there's was help, I'm sure the GOP would be up in arms. I'm glad that they're putting the focus on the Gulf Coast residents, but as another said, especially the Bush reaction to Katrina, it seems a bit too fishy. :-S My vote still hasn't changed.

    August 31, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  7. Betty

    This is just a ploy. Shame on John McCain!

    August 31, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  8. xavier

    ... and we want these people in charge for four more years? I dont think so.

    August 31, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  9. Jane

    Although I'm sure the cancellation, etc is pure political theatre and would never consider voting for McCain, I do kind of feel sorry for them. They are kind of between a rock and a hard place. I'm sure the St. Paul area is absolutely crushed – they have been planning this for a long time and have spent tons of money. Oh well, Mother Nature always wins.

    August 31, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  10. Florida Democrat

    I think the RNC & McCain are doing what is appropriate. They are in a difficult position.
    I find it offensive that anyone – on either side of the aisle would try to play politics with the hurricane.

    Obama has my vote, but I respect what the GOP is doing with the convention.

    August 31, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  11. Sara

    geeze people - you guys will complain about anything - no matter what mccain and camp would have decided to do, you would have criticized it.

    no one will forget katrina - hopefully the actions of our leaders this time around shows that they have learned something from their prior mistakes.

    August 31, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  12. Sean

    Way to go McCain for already acting and appearing presidential. It continues to be shown that it's "Country First." I commend you for being on the ball. If this is what we can expect from you as POTUS, then I'm proud to be casting my swing state vote for you!

    Oh, and to those that are bashing him, remember this point. Experience is about learning from events that have happened. Both positives and negatives create experience that is needed. McCain has that experience.

    McCain/Palin '08

    August 31, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  13. Linda31

    That press conference was a waste and distraction. I had to change the channel I was so annoyed. Can we focus on getting people out???

    It took my mom 12 hrs to get from New Orleans to Houston, a 6 hour drive.

    August 31, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  14. John

    McShame they say first impression is always important when katrina happened what you did is what you really are. Now you want to use this event to your advantage, it's not going to happen.

    August 31, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  15. Steve - Atlanta, GA

    He will probably use this as an excuse to cancel the entire convention after his latest blunder in picking his VP choice. No convention at all will be better than one with the line up they had in mind....Bush, Palin, about bad press......

    August 31, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  16. Tom

    I watched his whole message. I don't know who he thinks he's talking to. Possibly the "perfectly receptive to John McCain" being in some other dimension. Most people can listen to that and think "This guy is really trying to manipulate me."

    August 31, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  17. He is not the President

    Why is he holding a press conference on the storm like he is the President??? He is pandering on the National news!!! In his opinion, all is going well??? So he watched CNN like everybody else about the progress of the evacuation. What does that prove??? We were not impressed.

    August 31, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  18. Dill

    My biggest concern is if Mrs. Palin, Republican VP choice has to take the over of the Presidency , is she experienced enough to handle terrorism, the Iraq war, Iran, Russia, China, economy, education, military, or a pandemic! I don't think that she has enough experience to be handed our country's future. I hope McCain has thought about this, if he loves the country like he says, why would he take the chance? What if a disaster happened, is this the person you would choose to take it over and guide our great nation through it? Scarey stuff. After all Mr. McCain is 72 years old and will be closer to 80 when his term ends.

    August 31, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  19. Debi

    This is so political it's downright shameful. Oh what a difference an election year can make. Too bad Bush and The Republican Party didn't show as much concern and compa s sion when Katrina hit. Their lackadaisal, slow response is one for the history books and thousands of lives were forever changed because of it. Many survived, many did not. It's three years too late for them. Republicans, your time is up.

    August 31, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  20. Carl Justus

    They should cancel the convention until the storm has blown over. That would be the best thing to do–A week later will not make a bit of difference in what is said or who will talk.

    August 31, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  21. Mary-Beth Frazee

    Now this is a real leader!!! He knows when to go to work and when not to put on a show. Dems on the other hand only know how to put on a show – that's all they are – all show – no go!! Good job, McCain!!!

    August 31, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  22. carolflowery

    does anyone around these blogs ever actually pray for people

    August 31, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  23. John McGimmick

    McCain is PATHETIC!

    I’ve seen what Lt General Russel Honore can do in a crisis and John McCain, you are NO Lt. General Honore! You don’t even know what to do besides tell the Republicans to take off their Republican hats and act like Americans


    Yeah, this game is OVER!

    August 31, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  24. AJ Knee

    I don't understand how the poles are showing McCain and Obama so close. McCain is running a horrible campaign full of blatant pandering and he's given absolutely NO insight into exactly what he plans to do the next four years. He's done noting but copy Obama from day one of the campaign.
    Are there really so many racists in this country that would put their own welfare over petty skin color? Or is it that people want someone in office that has no forward momentum so they can feel better about themselves? Or maybe the numbers are being bought out, so that the candidates stay close enough to create another nightmarish election day similar to 2000 and 2004. I really don't get it.
    If anyone has insight please e-mail me. I really and truly want to know what people are thinking.

    August 31, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  25. Marge Hibbing Mn

    Well some things should be cancelled. Like parties. But they will probability go on. They should still have the legalities performed. There is nothing wrong with that. Then they can turn a lot of parties into donating money to the people who might need help.

    I will bet 1000000000000000000000000000000000 dollars that obama would not have cancelled his acception speech that someone had written for him.

    August 31, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
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