Convention planners breathe a little easier as Isaac shifts away from Tampa
August 26th, 2012
03:53 PM ET
2 years ago

Convention planners breathe a little easier as Isaac shifts away from Tampa

(CNN) – One day after officials decided to postpone the Republican National Convention, concerns about the impact of Tropical Storm Isaac on Tampa, Florida seemed to lighten as the storm indicated its impending track would shift west of the convention site.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus announced Saturday the convention would officially convene Monday but speeches and other events would not begin until Tuesday afternoon.

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Forecasters on Sunday adjusted Isaac's projected path further to the west, which would take it farther away from Tampa than had earlier been expected. Still, tropical storm conditions are expected in Tampa Sunday night and Monday morning with heavy rain and strong, gusty winds.

The storm is projected to make landfall as a Category 2 hurricane on Wednesday along the Mississippi coast.

The now three-day convention will still feature all or most of the major scheduled speeches, Priebus said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union."

Delaying the start of the convention was "the right thing to do," Priebus said.

"Everything is going to be back to normal on Tuesday," Priebus said, adding that some speeches may be shorter than originally planned.

Convention officials released an adjusted schedule for the week. Among the major changes: South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley's speech has moved to Tuesday night, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee speaks on Wednesday night and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush delivers his remarks Thursday night.

The primetime hour of 10 p.m. ET did not undergo any changes. "There have been a few speakers who weren't headliners that we had to let go," Romney for President Strategist Russ Schriefer said on the call.

Earlier Sunday, GOP officials signaled they were considering making an extension to the convention by holding events on Friday, but the new schedule does not include any events for that day.

"We are not considering a Friday session," convention organizers told reporters. "However we have a weather event. We'll watch the weather and if because of the weather something has to change, we'll let you know."

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, meanwhile, canceled his planned convention appearances for Tuesday in order to monitor issues related to Isaac, his office said Sunday.

"We made sure that the delegates that are coming, they have information about how they should act around here with regard, because some of them have never been around a hurricane," Scott said in a news conference, adding that the storm has moved slightly west and could affect other Gulf states.

Still, the state already experienced the force of Isaac on Sunday, with rain and whipping winds hitting the Florida Keys and the southern tip of the peninsula.

The storm is expected to gain strength in the warm water of the Gulf of Mexico and become a hurricane by early Monday.

Earlier on CNN Sunday, Scott said the Sunshine State was prepared to handle Isaac should it turn into a hurricane and hit its shores.

"We do hurricanes well and we do hospitality well," Scott said on CNN. "And this week we've got to show both sides."

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal signaled he may miss the convention, as his home state prepares for potential impact of the storm. Jindal missed the convention four years ago when Hurricane Gustav slammed into New Orleans.

"The Governor was slated to speak at the convention in 2008 when Gustav hit, he not only didn't speak, he didn't even go," said Jindal's communications director, Kyle Plotkin, in a statement to CNN. "He will certainly not leave the state if our people are in peril."

Jindal later Sunday declared a state of emergency for the state, though he did not say whether he would attend the convention.

"My priority is the safety of our people. Certainly as long as the storm threatens the public safety here in Louisiana, I'm not going anywhere," he said at a news conference. "I'm not thinking about the convention. I'm not thinking about politics right now."

CNN's Ashley Killough, Tom Cohen and Adam Levy contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2012 • Bobby Jindal • Florida • Republican National Convention • Rick Scott
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Paul Harris

    As a Calfornia tourist who was stuck in the Superdome I know that voters' memories are so short. It is incredibly important WHO our national leader is as to how we respond to disasters, whether natural or unnatural. Many past Presidents (both Republicans & Democrats) have responded powerfully and immediately to earthquakes, mass murders, tornadoes, firestorms, etc.

    Days after Katrina, Pres. Bush said, "No one could have foreseen the breach of the levees." Six months after Katrina videos and transcripts were uncovered that showed him being warned by experts days in advance that the levee breaches were quite probable and that the hurricane would be horrific. He simply said that "everything was taken care of".

    When you have a political party that places the welfare of the rich over the poor and middle class and invading other countries under false pretenses as a higher priority than responding to an immediate crisis in our own country Bush's lack of response was no surprise.

    Paul Harris
    Author, "Diary From the Dome, Reflections on Fear and Privilege During Katrina"

    August 26, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  2. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Isaac I believe, is Gods sense of humor.

    August 26, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  3. John

    That to bad because I was hoping they would not go on at all.

    August 26, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  4. Potrzebie

    They should have started a day earlier. All of that hot air would have blown it back out to sea.

    August 26, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  5. GI Joe

    Sooooo - they are happy it might hit New Orleans again?

    August 26, 2012 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  6. Namejkane fl SEND THE THREE TIME LOSER romney HOME AND MAKE IT FOUR.

    Did you ever hear of backwash , its coming for the Gop bafoons !!!!!

    August 26, 2012 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  7. Slightly Left of Center

    You know all those people setting up the convention site? I bet they are UNION WORKERS :) hahahahahaha GOP

    August 26, 2012 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  8. Pete

    I really thought the storm was going straight to Tampa because I heard republicans there are creating vacuum,they suck!!!

    August 26, 2012 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  9. Paul Ernest Show

    Could God and the forefathers be angry at America for trying to elect a non-christian, cult member as president? Just got infected by GOP mouth and brain viruses. Trying a little of their wackiness.

    August 26, 2012 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  10. The Ohter Dale

    And what about those living in Louisiana who will have their lives devastated by Isaac? Oh, yeah, forgot – Republicans never cared about people there anyway, so it's no big deal. C'mon, GOP! Let's party while property and lives are torn apart! It's a Tea Party after all!!

    August 26, 2012 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  11. Don in Albuquerque

    Are we supposed to care?

    August 26, 2012 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  12. doc

    Paul- Really, Pres Bush and not state of Louisiana responsible for hurricane warning/prep?
    Perusing rest of CNN, loved the strip club in Tampa investigative journalism. Looking forward to same from site of Dem convention, but not holding my breath.

    August 26, 2012 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |