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. Repandum

    Don't worry, GOP. It's not Isaac Hayes.

    August 25, 2012 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  2. kramer

    See – this is clearly "God's Will" as surely the Republicons would be claiming if this were the Dems Convention!

    The Church and actually Bishops and Nuns have already sent letters indicating their Horror with the Ryan Budget and the Republicon Platform which further rewards Only the Wealthy while hurting most the Poor and Needy.

    Now God has sent that Message too – Thank Goodness..!!!

    August 25, 2012 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  3. Howdylove

    A bad omen perhaps?...

    August 26, 2012 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  4. Mark

    You see! Mother nature is already striking out against the GOP, way to mother, keep em on their toes!

    August 26, 2012 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  5. kflanigan

    GOP to the American people "hey can we have a do over"

    August 26, 2012 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  6. Kurt

    Even God and Mother Nature doesn't want Romney nominated nor elected. May the rain wash away Romney's tax sins!

    August 26, 2012 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  7. Paul

    You mean we have to wait to hear the same rhetoric?! What will I do until Monday?

    August 26, 2012 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  8. winchester74

    When will Pat Robertson explain which sins the Republicans have committed to cause God to curse their convention ????

    August 26, 2012 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  9. cgs

    It's because Biden blew in.

    August 26, 2012 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  10. lod Gord

    I wonder how Pat Robertson would interpret this.....is GOD punishing the GOP?

    August 26, 2012 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  11. Fareed

    Shut It Down!

    August 26, 2012 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  12. postedbygeo

    God's sign to Republicans and Tea Party, get lost.

    August 26, 2012 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  13. Johan

    Even God doesn't want Romney to be president :-)

    August 26, 2012 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  14. postedbygeorge

    Fair weather politicians.

    August 26, 2012 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  15. yeefunn

    It's God's plan.

    August 26, 2012 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  16. nik green

    Now if Isaac could stop near Tampa and spin in place... the entire Convention might be canceled. Here's hoping...

    August 26, 2012 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  17. gwats

    They're probably afraid to tell all those lies and pat themselves on the back during a lightning Storm. Never know when God might take those lies about him personally, and blow someone off the stage.

    August 26, 2012 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  18. Pat Robertson

    I believe this is God's punishment for Republicans' nominating Romney.

    August 26, 2012 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  19. Hillcrester

    It was hubris to schedule five days in the hopes of getting a lot of free TV time, when the Dems planned to get their nominating stuff done in three day. I wonder whether the absence of ANY TV attention for day 1 made this an easier decision.

    August 26, 2012 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  20. steven schultz

    It's ironic that those in the Republican party that see the hand of God in every natural disaster are now the object of that wrath.

    August 26, 2012 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  21. G. W. Bush

    God's way of saying "Don't pick this guy.".

    August 26, 2012 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  22. Paul

    So if Katrina was God's wrath against New Orleans, is Isaac God's wrath against the GOP agenda? First Hurricane to hit Tampa in 90 years, right?

    August 26, 2012 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  23. Deanie Gudac

    Just cancel it. We already know how it ends.

    August 26, 2012 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  24. Valentijn

    I bet Newt Gingrich was annoyed. Wasn't he claiming the storm is a white house conspiracy?

    August 26, 2012 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
  25. SNAPPA

    They should just cancel the whole thing, why waste the money...

    August 26, 2012 01:12 am at 1:12 am |
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