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.

Full story

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

    A display of opportunism and indicative of a lack of substantive material for opening day at the Republican convention. A dishonorable manipulation of people's concern for the citizens of NOLA, drawing the lion's-share of attention away from them and onto the "magnanimous" gesture of canceling the first day. Perhaps its a backhanded way of apologizing for the Katrina rescue disaster by the Republican powers but more likely its a Rovian strategy to make points with genuinely caring people who are undecided on the presidential election.

    August 31, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  2. aliou FL

    McBush today chartered planes to send delegates from Louisiana back home to ..... get this ...... Louisiana.!!!!

    While the authorities are doing everything to get people out, McCrazy is telling those who were already out for the convention to go back into the danger zone.

    Guess what/ They told him no, but thanks no!!!!

    That makes one question the judgement of MCSame!!! More over, What help did Ms runner up contribute to this decision to charter planes to send Louisiana delegates back?

    August 31, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  3. Reverend Gina Fields

    Even god is telling the republicans to stop being so hateful and negative and to move aside and let change happen. Yes, we can.
    My prayers are with New Orleans and all the Americans of the Gulf.
    Reverend Gina Fields

    August 31, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  4. CC, VA

    You people simply cannot be pleased.

    August 31, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  5. Lost in CNN Moderation AGAIN

    I really pray they get it right this time! I will never forget the horror and shame I felt for how the people were treated!

    Keep safe everyone!

    August 31, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  6. Brian, Quad Cities

    Louisiana residents can dial 211 if you need shelter, residents in other states should dial 1-866-438-4636.

    Red Cross Phone Numbers:
    Hattiesburg, MS – 601-582-8151
    Jackson, MS (Central Mississippi Chapter) – 601-353-5442 Southeast Mississippi Chapter – 228-762-2455
    Mississippi Gulf Coast Chapter – 228-896-4511
    Northeast Mississippi Chapter 662-842-6101
    Oxford, MS – 662-236-1282
    Natchez, MS – 601-442-3656
    Gulf Coast Chapter – Mobile, AL – 251-438-2571
    RC of Central Alabama, Montgomery, AL – 334-272-3038 Birmingham, AL area – 205-458-8282
    Atlanta, GA – 404-575-3730
    Nashville, TN – 615-250-4300
    Memphis, TN – 901-726-1690
    Little Rock, AR – 501-748-1030
    South Arkansas Chapter – 870-863-8196
    Northwest Louisiana Chapter – Shreveport – 318-865-9545
    Greater Houston RC – 713-526-8300 (866-526-8300)
    Dallas Area – 214-678-4800

    August 31, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  7. Dori in AZ

    McCain has NO executive experience. None. Zip.

    McCain has never been a mayor of any town or city. McCain has never been a governor....

    McCain needs to put Palin on the top of the ticket, and he should be the VP. According to his criteria, she is far better suited for the presidency than he himself is!

    August 31, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  8. Maria

    8 is Enough

    August 31, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  9. Ralph

    I pray for the people of New Orleans and appreciate any effort made by anybody to help. As far as Sarah Palin, what I've seen and heard, I like her. Reminds me of Marisa Hagarty of Law and Order, SVU. Very pretty and smart. I can't wait to hear more about her. McCain is not another Bush. I trust him more then I trust Obama. I wish Obama was a heartbeat away, rather then the nominee. She has more elected service then Obama. She has made major changes in Alaska. Change, you can see. Obama has been a US Senator a mere 3 years and during that time a majority has been used running for President. What legislation has he sponsored? How many meetings as chairman of the sub-committee on Al Qaeda in Afghanistan has he convened? Oh that's right, he left all that up to Biden. Why is there a sub-committee if it is not needed? Do Senators make more wages if they head a committee? McCain did not need to bolster his experience by choosing a VP with tons of experience. As far as how many times Mccain and Palin met, 20 years wasn't enough time for Obama to get to know someone. Let the debates begin!!!

    August 31, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  10. JC, South Carolina

    Shouldn't McCain and the Republicans be Americans all the time?

    August 31, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  11. still love Hill

    Call it an opportunistic gesture if you must.

    But it is the right thing to do, regardless so lets just concentrate and send positive, caring sentiment to our fellow countrymen, women, children and their beloved pets who matter right now the most.

    I will give the Obama campaign the benefit of any doubt and believe that the gala last Thursday night would have been postponed and/or cancelled too. It's only fair as he hasn't had a chance to prove me wrong.

    August 31, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  12. pam Eugene OR

    I am sure McCain welcomes the opportunity to sneak Palin in without any press!
    This is exactly we we CAN NOT have off-shore drilling platforms. Think people. McCain/Palin are wrong on this.
    May God keep all Americans in the gulf states safe as they sure can't depend on the current administration to do that.

    August 31, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  13. Marc - Canada

    GOP – you are so fortunate that the voters are spared having to listen to Bush et al.

    I think I will watch the GOP convention in small doses as McCain and Palin are hard on the ears.

    August 31, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  14. Josh

    I just read this on one of the other blogs on the topic of "How McCain chose his VP"…it touched my heart…

    …..Obama picks people based on merit… If he wanted the "sure fire win",.. he could've picked Hillary. But he's not looking for who's the most popular… he's looking for who's the best person for the job. Once again… McCain's personal ambitions are shown to be more important than the good of the country….

    My prayer is that I hope God is involved in this election so the right person wins!!!


    August 31, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  15. Dennis

    Can't let a natural disaster steal the spotlight . . .or more likely spotlight this administration's epic failure to do anything to restore NO after Katrina. Especially during their little celebration to highlight all their stunning success during these past 8 years.

    Now he want's to turn it into a sideshow in the name of helping storm victims. Where was the fundraiser and "acting like Americans" when it wasn't an election year? Pathetic.

    August 31, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  16. Doug Shields

    From North of the Border,

    Everyone's a critic. I wonder what Obama would have done if this had happened last weekend?

    August 31, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  17. Jen

    I have great faith in Senator McCain's leadership abilities. His ability to work across partisan lines to put the well-being of the country first has earned him my vote.

    Jen, Former Hillary Clinton Supporter

    August 31, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  18. Rob

    All for political reasons only. Bush and Cheney should suspend their attendance, particularly since they are a ball and chain on the party anyway. However, there is no reason to suspend the rest of the activities, since there is nothing that can be done by any of the attendees anyway. Entirely illogical, and unfortunate that these decisions are based not on altruistic reasons but political ones. Quite frankly, if New Orleans is hit again so be it. To rebuild a city and the famous "Lower 9th Ward" in the same place and same manner as before was lunacy. Maybe someone will wise up this time. I'm sorry they are going through it again, but I'm not able to drum up much sympathy considering they could have rebuilt somewhere else.

    August 31, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  19. Conservative Wisconsinite

    I am glad that the RNC has chosen to be appropriate during this time, and the Democrats are not using this time either to make this time political. However, it disappoints me that people that place these comments would do so at this time. If the RNC had not done this we would hear "they don't care about anyone." Let's stop complaining about what McCain and/or Obama are doing at this time and worry about those in need. This is a storm that neither party created . We need to work together

    August 31, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  20. Janice

    McCain truely has no idea what he is doing. He has no chance of winning. He is trying his hardest but he is failing miserably. Can you imagine being a republican right now? How hard must it be for these guys. They have an incompetent leader, a VP choice who even McCain barely knows, and a convention which they have been preparing months and months for, down the drain. Gah, you republicans have my sympathy... I would never vote republican, but both parties deserve proper leadership... if McCain were picked 8 years ago when he ran in the primaries against bush, I don't think he would be perceived as the misguided individual he has become.

    August 31, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  21. Melissa

    Cancelling this shows McCain cares about our country. The people in LA need our prayers and support. I waswaiting to see who I would vote for and the VP sealed it. I approve of McCains choice. I usually don't vote repubilican but this year I will.

    August 31, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  22. Bill

    McCains records on Katrina, what has changed? Oh wait its election time!!

    ' Forty Senators and 100 members of Congress visited New Orleans before he [McCain] did; he finally got there in March 2006. He voted against establishing a Congressional commission to examine the Federal, State, and local responses to Katrina in med-September 2005. He repeated that vote in 2006. He voted against allowing up to 52 weeks of unemployment benefits to people affected by the hurricane, and in 2006 voted against appropriating $109 billion in supplemental emergency funding, including $28 billion for hurricane relief.

    McCain's False FEMA promise:

    'In the Senate, he consistently voted against more funds for FEMA [the Federal Emergency Management Agency], against making it an independent agency as it had been in the 1990s, and even against the creation of a commission to investigate how the government failed after Katrina. That indifference to learning from experience and adjusting accordingly is a central characteristic of movement conservatism.'

    Walk the talk or get out of the way

    August 31, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  23. denzel Uvetie

    all the best

    obama-biden o8/12

    August 31, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  24. Voting record says it all

    Check out his voting record on funding for Katrina Relief. Actions speak louder than words.

    August 31, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  25. Jim Smith

    We are all concerned about the fate of the residents of the Gulf Coast and especially the beautigul cityof New Orleans. But, for John McCain to make this a political speech, which is exactly what he was doing, regardless of the altruistic theme, he was doing what normally the current president would do if he were competent at all, is inexcusable. I hope the Obama campaign demands equal time to express their concern for our fellow citizens. McCain was not even needed to make a statement. The RNC and it leaders had that responsibility. This was nothing more than political grandstanding on McCain's part. Shame on him and shame on CNN if it doesn't offer Obama equal time.

    August 31, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
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