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.
I think it makes total sense to hold off on things until this blows through. I live in Texas and hurricanes are truly dangerous and scary things. I am in the possible path of this thing and shame on all of you who think this is a joke. If the RNC turns the convention into a fundraising effort, more power to them and all the more reason for me to vote for them. After reading what's been written here, I'm going straight ticket – something I've never done.
What the RNC is doing makes far more sense than what we witnessed last week – what amounted to a bunch of searchers or something praying to Obama in front of a temple. Right now, it's not even about politics, it's about Americans and their well being in the face of something that could be devastating – until you have walked in those shoes, I would suggest keeping your thoughts to yourself rather than attack someone who is trying to come up with a solution.
Thank you George W. Bush, John McCain and the RNC for all that you are doing.
mccain you can say whatever you wanna say,we did not forget about katrina yet.
I think if McCain would have a good judgement, he would cancel the RNC altogether before it turns into another republican disaster – didn't they have enough disasters over the pas 8 years already?:
It's a shame!
I'm totally against McCain , however they are acting appropriately and pandering in this issue no more or less than the democratic side.
Come on guys...Can you let go of your anger and pray?
I'm sure that McCains advice came from his very experienced and internationally renowned VP pick Sarah....what's her name. What's a republican to do! Your message will not be seen or heard, It;s being drowned out. What goes around....comes around!!!
Typical liberal comments here on the CNN site! McCain would be damed by most of you no matter what he and Sarah Palin decided to do right? He is doing the right thing by placing the spot light where it needs to be, which is this storm approaching our gulf coast line. What really bothered you in what McCain said, was it the part where he said we should "pray" for the best? You are going to be so suprised when your man Obama loses to the "old" man and the "inexperienced" female, who will really bring about change to our country by taking the pork out of bills coming out of congress, instead of just being the same old stuff that Joe Biden offers to our country. Palin and McCain have both fought for reform and less spending, tell us what kind of reforms that Obama bought about in Chicago, not a thing becaused he refused to buck the system there!
I agree Sara. If McCain didn't make the trip down, all the comments would be – How can he NOT go. I think he and the GOP look very good right now and have made a sacrifice by cancelling their convention and putting their efforts toward fundraising for the victims. To that point, I haven't heard anything from the Obama camp about giving any of their millions or mobilizing any of their supporters to help this cause. I guess he prefers parties and speeches.
As a former Hillary supporter, I vote McCain.
Pandering this time does not erase the memory nor make up for the obscene Bush McCain fund raising bash they threw themselves while Katrina devastated the gulf coast.
Nice of the Obama guy LAUGHING about the hurricane....really nice...
This will absolutely prove who has the leadership to run our country. Certainly NOT the Obama crew.
That's right Obama supporters, keep making your hateful remarks about John McCain and saying that you are running a different kind of campaign. OBAMA FOR NO CHANGE
You can never please some people....if he had proceeded as normal, he would have been criticized for not caring. God help us all....this is getting so ridiculous....people never give their opponent any credit for just acting human.
He is not the President says: 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.
Hello in there!!! I believe Obama had a press conference early in the day as well?! McCain was letting people know what would be happening or not happening at the convention as a result of expected events....how is that taking on the presidents role? Do you realize lots of people hold press conferences?
I disagree with other commenters. I believe all of them have full of hatred that they can not change. I thought you guys looking for change? Will you comments the same way if this was during the DNC?
It is rather ironic that this harricane happens just when Republicans are having their convention. You remember that they were praying for rain on the day when Obama was going to have his speech in stadium, but they got the best weather and a had a wonderful time. God surely is punishing Republicans for their ill will against Democrats.
Where was all the Republican/Mc Bush heilp during Katrina. Oh, yeah, they had a bithday party-seeing as it was not before an election!
I wouldn't wish another Katrina on anyone. I hope the people in the path get through this safely and their property unscathed.
But after the GOP preacher was enticing people to pray for Obama's event to get rained out and after Bush & McCain celebrated McCain's birthday cake during Katrina the last time, I won't have much sympathy for McCain if weather takes out his "celebration". Though unlike the preacher, I don't wish for it and will be a little disappointed if they don't have it.
I find it remarkable and a bit disturbing how truly Wrathful Obama supporters seem to come across as..
Senator McCain wasn't responsible for the horrendous support Katrina Victims received.. President Bush was..
Turn the tables around.. Can you truly say that "Mr.Change" would have brought down his "TEMPLE OF OBAMA" in the DNC should he been in this situation?
This isn't a game. . When Gustav plows through the gulf it will leave behind a wake of destruction across the south. At least McCain can recognize what kind of negative message celebrating at a time like this can have.
The reason why the polls are messed up because most folks uses a cellphone and polls are only conducted by landlines.
This Gimmick McCain Joker should keep thinking he's close in the polls so when the news after Nov 4th breaks he can make that crazy face for another photo op.
When all is said and done, they will see these conventions as follows
Dems, all party with God-like Obama-opolis show at the end.
McCain will be a strong leader and help the people of Louisiana and turn his convention into a community service event raising money and giving help where needed.
I am amazed at the complaints from people, who I guess are supporting Obama, as I am, that what McCain is doing is just political theater. There are times when we are American first and Democrats or Republicans second.
I do find what is happening now in New Orleans interesting. I lived in New Orleans in 1965 when Hurricane Betsy came through. 76 people died. The damages were 1.65 billion (in 1965 dollars). There was no evacuation. Evacuations are a new thing.
We will see what happens with this storm in a few hours. If things are now handled well there will be plenty of time then to asign blame. Now the thing we should be doing is praying for the people of Louisiana.
McCain I will never forget the Republican's reaction and neglect during Katrina. Please do not use this storm as a photo-op. It was your party that prayed for a torrential storm last week. You just did not get it when you wanted it, but don't take advantage of other's suffering. It's disgraceful.
You bloggers are pathetic. The convention is an event to nominate a nominee to run for POTUS. McCain must make decisions as to the direction it will take. Guarantee there won't be thousands of dollars wasted on fireworks, and Roman pillars.
Obama and Biden are up on a roof top somewhere in Ohio right now discussing how good looking they are... Presidential material? NO!!! .. .McCain and Palin are telling the fund raising event organizers at the RNC to raise money for the hurricane victims instead of for his campaign. Enough Said.
Give it a break LIBERALS! What would the Dems and Obama done if the storm had hit last week. You can't blame everything on McCain or the Administration. Guess you'll say anything negative at this point. Your party has no clear plan on how to handle anything...just blame everything on someone else. The folks in New Orleans (local authorities) learned a tough lesson with Katrina. Bet they will listena dn get out of town this time!