BREAKING: GOP delays start of convention until Tuesday
August 25th, 2012
06:44 PM ET
2 years ago

BREAKING: GOP delays start of convention until Tuesday

Tampa, Florida (CNN) - The Republican National Convention has cancelled the program's first day due to Tropical Storm Isaac, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus announced Saturday.

The convention will convene on Monday and then immediately recess until the following afternoon, Priebus said in a statement.

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"Due to the severe weather reports for the Tampa Bay area, the Republican National Convention will convene on Monday August 27th and immediately recess until Tuesday afternoon, August 28th," Priebus said. "After consulting with Governor Scott, NOAA and local emergency management officials, we are optimistic that we will begin an exciting, robust convention that will nominate the Romney-Ryan ticket."

Vice President Joe Biden had announced plans to campaign in Tampa on Monday and elsewhere on Florida on Tuesday. On Friday evening, the Obama-Biden campaign cancelled his Monday events, and Saturday, the campaign announced cancellation of his Tuesday plans.

GOP officials expect 50,000 people to attend the convention where Mitt Romney will officially accept his party's presidential nomination and make the final turn to the November election.

The delay was brought about because Isaac is expected to be west of Tampa in the Gulf of Mexico early Monday morning – the first day of the weeklong event.

Isaac was forecast to bring rain and wind to the Tampa area on Monday and Tuesday and was expected to increase in intensity and become either a Category 1 or 2 hurricane as it passed west of Tampa in the Gulf of Mexico.

Before the RNC announcement, Florida's Republican Governor Rick Scott announced that he was cancelling his activities at the convention but would remain in Tampa to monitor and coordinate the state's response to the storm.

Wind gusts in Tampa were recorded at 30 mph on Saturday afternoon.

As the convention and storm approached, RNC and government officials stressed their preparedness. "I declared a state of emergency for the state of Florida," Scott told reporters Saturday morning. "That's standard protocol to make sure we can coordinate our efforts with federal, state, and local so we can have the proper response."

On CNN's "Starting Point" Thursday, RNC communications director Sean Spicer said the convention had "contingency plans to deal with weather-related and other circumstances that may occur to ensure that the business can go on at the RNC and Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will become our nominees."

Officials were speaking with and distributing pamphlets to delegates and other guests as they checked into the over 15,000 area hotel rooms which had been booked, and encouraged those for whom this would be their first hurricane to be careful.

On Saturday afternoon, the storm had sustained winds of 60 mph with 70 mph gusts.


Filed under: 2012 • Florida • Republican National Convention
soundoff (301 Responses)
  1. rbj

    As one comic put it this week...this delay only proves...That GOD is a Women. Personally I would like to see the delay to December.

    August 25, 2012 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  2. Lyla M

    Not even Mother Nature supports the GOP....and well she shouldn't!

    August 25, 2012 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  3. Mike

    Maybe the smartest thing they could do – maybe Tues if not flooded as bad...funny the spokesperson for the RNC said last night " on with the show " sorry dude lives first !

    August 25, 2012 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  4. Carl

    Isaac must be a democrat.

    August 25, 2012 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  5. josh101

    A message from a higher power?

    August 25, 2012 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  6. ramble3144

    Obama will shortly hold a Press Conference with Wassmerman Schultz and Ms. Fluke to assert they upset the GOP convention with a hurricane. Will say it's due to their war on Capitalism.

    August 25, 2012 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  7. Jeff in San Diego

    Even God wants to stop them.

    August 25, 2012 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  8. Rbrx

    Can you imagine if it were the Democratic National Convention being postponed due to a hurricane. The right wingnuts would be up in arms about it being a sign from God. Wonder what they will say about that now.....

    August 25, 2012 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  9. Harry Lime

    “Next the plague of blood; then the plague of frogs; then the plague of lice or gnats; then the plague of flies or wild animals; then the plague of pestilence; then the plague of boils; then the plague of hail; then the plague of locusts; then the plague of darkness; then death of the firstborn.

    All in all, it’s the boils I really hate the most.

    I wouldn’t want to be in Tampa.”

    August 25, 2012 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  10. Drew

    The Bible contains more than 300 verses on the poor, social justice, and God's deep concern for both. Maybe God is simply rejecting the Republican's platform by bringing this storm upon them.

    August 25, 2012 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  11. BobbyLee

    Bunch of wimps.....All last week they all said nothing would stop their convention. Now they just chicken out before one drop has fallen.

    August 25, 2012 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  12. JimmmyNelson

    I figured they would have prayed the storm away by now...

    August 25, 2012 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  13. jb

    god has a way of shutting the whole thing down

    August 25, 2012 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  14. global warming

    Global warming stops GOP. Al Gore was right.

    August 25, 2012 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  15. drake mallard

    Sher Valenzuela, GOP's 'We Built It' Speaker, Received Millions In Government Loans
    Valenzuela's company received roughly $17 million in federal loans and contracts and she's openly encouraged other business owners to rely on taxpayer funding, Media Matters reported Thursday.

    However, the stadium where the GOP will be announcing “We Built This!” was financed primarily by the government. The Tampa Bay Times Forum arena, which houses the Tampa Bay Lightning, was built in 1996 as the “Ice Palace” with 62% government funds. The total budget for the project was $139 million, of which public money accounted for $86 million and team money accounted for $53 million.

    August 25, 2012 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  16. zeb

    who would have thunk!! 2 repub conventions in a row? maybe a message?

    August 25, 2012 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  17. bill davis

    Just wait a bit the Blowing Winds of Obama will run out of wind.

    August 25, 2012 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  18. Please Grow Up

    I had planned to take a night off from work to see Monday night's opener. Oh, well.

    August 25, 2012 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  19. JSL

    Obama!!!

    He controls the weather...! (H.A.R.P.)

    August 25, 2012 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  20. batjones

    This is what the politicos get for pushing the conventions into late summer. I remember when the conventions were held in June. Local campaigns had a few months to organize with their state and national tickets. Now, there is no time to plan, make errors, and recover. The hopes of Republican candidates may rest on one lost week in August that gets washed away. The likelihood of rescheduling an emergency national meeting for just delegates is highly improbable after Labor Day. Bring back the precinct party bosses, forget the staged show.

    August 25, 2012 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  21. Hello

    Gods American Religious (Republican) Party is getting a message from Mother Nature...

    Don't F .. with Mother Nature... I'm the boss here not your mythic madman..

    August 25, 2012 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  22. hmm

    Isaac is The Key Speaker! Even mother nature don't like the Robot, Flip Flop, don't wanna talk about my experience on anything I have done until now, won't release my tax even if my dad did it, I rather live in a mansion in France than serve my country, I was born in US but my money lives all over the world, I saved the Olympics just don't ask me about the bail out money I got to save it.... OK, this guy is out of his mind and the GOP are gonna officially nominate him? Where is Ashton Kutcher? the people must be getting punked...

    August 25, 2012 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  23. Mic Lawler

    Too bad Delaware's Own cancelled. Standing on the beach and screaming at the Hurricane would be the perfect venue for him and on a par with the constant drivel and sophistry that emanates from the combination of his "genius" intellect and the Democrat Party Strategy !

    August 25, 2012 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  24. TJeff1776

    The hot air coming out of the Republican convention will only add to the storm's intensity. Puns not intended, the storm could be a whole lot worse than expected. Could cause flooding in Tampa. 50-50 chance that the convention could be delayed by as much as two weeks.

    August 25, 2012 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  25. BobInIrvine

    Priebus doesn't know the difference between a weather "report" and a weather "forecast?"

    August 25, 2012 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
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