Obama tells supporters venue change is 'disappointing'
September 6th, 2012
02:25 PM ET
2 years ago

Obama tells supporters venue change is 'disappointing'

(CNN) - President Barack Obama told supporters on Thursday he regretted that some 65,000 of them would be unable to watch his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention that evening, and urged them to continue to stay engaged in his reelection effort.

"I want to begin by saying how much I regret that we're not all gathering together in one place to deliver my acceptance speech tonight," Obama told supporters on a conference call which the campaign organized after weather canceled plans for Obama to accept his party's nomination at the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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Instead, Obama will deliver his remarks at the Time Warner Cable Arena, which has housed the other major convention events. The call was announced Wednesday morning as thunderstorms and heavy rain loomed in Thursday's forecast. Convention organizers said they had distributed some 65,000 tickets for Thursday evening's events, which was to include speeches by Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and live music.

Those with the so called "community credentials" will not be able to attend the convention in person due to space concerns, although delegates and other guests will be allowed in. On Wednesday evening, as both he and former President Bill Clinton were in the hall, security officials for the event closed the hall saying it had reached capacity.

On the conference call, Obama acknowledged that the move was "disappointing" and spoke about the safety concerns which organizers said prompted the location change.

"I could not ask you, our volunteers, law enforcement, first responders, to subject themselves to the risk of severe thunderstorms," Obama said, adding that "getting 70,000 people into a place is tough, getting them out of there is even tougher, and if we had started seeing severe thunderstorms and lightning in particular it would have been a problem and we would have had a situation where we were putting you guys at risk."

Obama acknowledged that many supporters who were given "community credentials" to the event were volunteers who had been given the tickets in exchange for volunteering with his campaign, "I know they've been working nonstop for months."

He said the campaign would "do everything we can to get you into events taking place near you, and our staffs are going to be in touch with you about that so hopefully you'll have an even closer front row seat to the campaign, which won't be hard to do since you're part of the campaign."

The president gave few clues as to what would be in his acceptance speech, except to say that he was "looking forward to laying out what are the stakes in this election, what my vision for the future is," He also said that his campaign has "offered a clear contrast to what people saw in Tampa," where Republicans held their convention last week.

He praised the earlier speeches of his wife, first lady Michelle Obama, and Clinton, whom he said "broke down the issues as effectively as anybody could."

In 2008, Obama also held the final day of his convention in a larger venue, the Invesco Field stadium in Denver, Colorado, and his campaign told reporters on Wednesday that they saw inviting thousands of supporters to see the president's speech in person as a grassroots organizing tool.

soundoff (121 Responses)
  1. Padraig

    So the DNC closed out their bank account with Bank of America. Then they move from the President's venue to an indoor arena that does not contain the same amount of people becuase there is a slight chance of rain. I wonder if he could have filled the stadium.

    September 6, 2012 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  2. Tom

    Both conventions had to be altered by weather events.

    Maybe God is not too happy with either party?

    September 6, 2012 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  3. Big George in Big D

    Awww – too bad. He can't be a typital showy >>>> person. Balloons were to be launched and lord only knows what else. I am sooooo glad your parade was rained on!

    September 6, 2012 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  4. Dale

    Disappointing seems to be the new standard for the Obama administration and the Democratic party since 2008.

    September 6, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  5. Pete

    It's a shame that the weather didn't cooperate and his acceptance speech has to be inside.65,000, add to that another 19,000 waiting hours for possibly more tickets ,that's more than Romney,Ryans had in all their campaign stop plus convention combined.Pres.Obama is a people person and as bad as it is he still has a following bigger than any republican and they know it,Clint Eastwood or not!!So keep up your bigotted ,racially charged campaign Romney maybe ,just maybe HONEY BOO BOO may be put in your spot,I second that idea.That GOP convention was like a can full of pellets,a lot of noise but nothing in there worth anything!!

    September 6, 2012 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  6. WILLARD MILTON ROMNEY IS A COWARD & TAX EVADER

    It's all good Mr. President. Bank Of America is actually NOT our favorite bank.

    September 6, 2012 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  7. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Will those who blamed Obama for Hurricane Isaac, also blame him for the lousy weather in NC? At least this should make the birther and voucher party of republicans happy.

    September 6, 2012 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    "I wonder if he could have filled the stadium."

    What part of 65,000 with another approximately 20,000 who trying to get tickets don't you understand?

    September 6, 2012 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  9. Howard

    BOB WOODWARD'S NEW BOOK reveals how Obama's arrogance sabotaged our economic progress, early in his Presidency. The book describes how even top Democrats, who had come to a bi-partisan economic agreement, were betrayed by Obama. It's time to replace the incompetent egomaniac with two leaders who know what they are doing ... Romney/Ryan in November !!!

    September 6, 2012 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  10. beevee

    The president will be happy to know that thousands if not millions of americans will be watching his acceptence speech for reelection and his vision for the next four years of his presidency. it should be rousing, inspiring, and meaningful speech and from the heart.

    September 6, 2012 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  11. kayla

    somehow from what i have been reading it looks like the repugs are soooo jealous of this president and the democrats. what a waste of energy.

    September 6, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  12. Carla Smith

    Pete. You are the first to mention race. Use that card much?

    September 6, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  13. Canuck

    @Howard
    "two leaders who know what they are doing "

    Maybe they should tell America what those plans are then???

    September 6, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  14. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I heard that Mittens said to Ann that she may be sleeping with the president on November 7. I believe that Ann said, wouldn't Michelle care?

    September 6, 2012 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  15. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Howard – Thanks for Hannity's take on Woodward's book.

    September 6, 2012 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  16. Sooverthis

    I live in Charlotte, and was one of the 20,000 who was waiting to get tickets. He most certainly would have filled the stadium to capacity.

    September 6, 2012 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  17. Henry Miller

    The weather. Right. Couldn't be that they just couldn't scrape up enough suckers to fill a 74,000 seat venue...

    September 6, 2012 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  18. demwit

    What happen to progressive europa saying. "forget about the storm and learn to dance in the rain"??

    September 6, 2012 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  19. Ronda in Houston,TX

    President Obama will be watched by millions and millions of Americans tonight. Regardless of where the venue is, Obama has always been able to draw a crowd. Romney the Puppet Liar will never be able to compare his turnout to President Obama. Ever...period.

    Obama/Biden 2013-2016!

    September 6, 2012 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  20. Tricia

    Obama couldn't fill a stadium if he tried! His glory days are over. They were going to have to pay people and bus them in for show. Notice any of the speeches he makes on TV, only thing they film is the people behind him in bleachers. That’s because the room is half empty!

    September 6, 2012 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  21. JB

    Charlotte knew last week that the event would have to be moved from the stadium because the revenues/contributions for the DNC were devastatingly less than expected, and wouldn't fund it. "Weather" was the excuse for a decision made last week.

    September 6, 2012 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  22. myviewis

    Is he going to address the changes he said he's making to Medicaid?????? if he is re-elected.

    September 6, 2012 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  23. DENNA

    I am sure that the GOP is delighted. People who support the president won't turn away from him because of an act of God. Funny, the GOP claims to be so Godly, so righteous, but breaks one of the ten commandents – "Thout Shalt Not Lie" constantly. I guess they think God is too busy despising the Democrats that he isn't paying attention to them. Hey GOP, where was George Bush last week. We had Clinton at our convention, why wasn't Bush included in yours? :-O

    September 6, 2012 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  24. Keesa

    i just cant wait to here my prez speech...

    September 6, 2012 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  25. BittenOnceButNotTwice

    Nothing could be more disappointing than 4 yrs of Obama's Hope and Change.

    September 6, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
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