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. KCRick

    My guess is that he only sold about 30000 tickets.

    September 6, 2012 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    Padraig wrote:

    So the DNC closed out their bank account with Bank of America. .....
    ---------------------------
    BoA has nothing to do with what type of events are conducted in the stadium. They don't own the stadium. They simply pay the stadium owners an annual multi-million dollar fee to have their name on the stadium.

    September 6, 2012 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  3. DENNA

    @ Canuck –

    @Howard "two leaders who know what they are doing "
    Maybe they should tell America what those plans are then???
    --------------------------------------------–
    We would all like to know what R/R really plan to do. I don't think we should trust them until they are more specific. It would be nice to actually know what is going to happen to this country under their regime. Remember – never buy a horse with a blanket on it.

    September 6, 2012 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  4. bob

    The stadium was only 65% booked. Obama couldn't fill it and his operatives could not bus in the masses from ghetto's fast enough to fill all the empty seats.

    September 6, 2012 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  5. DENNA

    @ BittenOnceButNotTwice – Nothing could be more disappointing than 4 yrs of Obama's Hope and Change.
    ..............................................................................................................................................................................
    It would have been great if the GOP had cooperated. Heck, President Obama may have bombed on his own, but the GOP/Tea Party were so afraid he would actually succeed, they did everything to block him. He has done very well, and would be riding high if he were a) not a Democrat and b) a black man. Oh, what the heck was going on with the GOP convention last week. Don't you people have any other black people besides Condi Rice?
    -

    September 6, 2012 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  6. Woman In California

    Does it really matter? The president will STILL garner more viewers than the tax cheat did and he won't need an old man and an empty chair to help him along.

    September 6, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  7. golenny

    Oh, It's just safety efforts. They can't secure BoA as well.

    September 6, 2012 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    "The stadium was only 65% booked. Obama couldn't fill it and his operatives could not bus in the masses from ghetto's fast enough to fill all the empty seats."

    No racism here, nope.

    September 6, 2012 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  9. myviewis

    DENNA
    Don't you people have any other black people besides Condi Rice?
    ------------------–

    Yes, ex-Democrat Congressman Artur Davis.

    September 6, 2012 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    "My guess is that he only sold about 30000 tickets."

    Again, what part of 65,000 people plus 20,000 stil trying to get tickets do you not understand?

    September 6, 2012 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  11. Joan

    President Obama has had 13,000-15,000 people at campaign stops. Have Romney and Ryan had that many? To say he would not be able to fill the stadium is just ludicrous. The Republican's jealousy is so much fun to watch. Maybe he can invite tham all as guests to his inauguration.

    September 6, 2012 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  12. NL

    And it is now pouring rain with thunder in Charlotte.

    September 6, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  13. myviewis

    NL

    And it is now pouring rain with thunder in Charlotte.
    -------------------

    We'll know when we watch the news.

    September 6, 2012 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  14. Jim (retired AF colonel)

    Any person who says that Obama couldn't fill the stadium is an idiot! Either that or another Lyin' Ryan!

    September 6, 2012 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  15. myviewis

    Now is Obama going to backpedal tomorrow as he always does and tell us he really meant to say something else and we really didn't understand his mathematics or is he going to say he mis-spoke........Obama said, adding that "getting 70,000 people into a place

    September 6, 2012 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  16. GI Joe

    R/R are the ones with little bitty crowds. President Obama has never had that problem.

    I've wondered why news people don't pan the super big groups that gather for R/R, and I realized there were no super big groups. Period.

    September 6, 2012 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  17. Stan

    The GOP is just amazing. What part of "rain in the forecast" do they not understand? Not only do they waste their time complaining, but they waste their time with conspiracy theories.

    September 6, 2012 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  18. myviewis

    Jim (retired AF colonel)

    Any person who says that Obama couldn't fill the stadium is an idiot! Either that or another Lyin' Ryan!
    ---------------------–

    I would wait till tomorrow if I were you and not jump to your conclusion that Obama could fill the stadium because if it turns out Obama couldn't fill the stadium than he will backpedal as he always does and say he did not mean to say 70,000 people.

    September 6, 2012 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  19. GI Joe

    Ryan's plan wants to cut 30% of the benefits for veterans -- how do all you patriots feel about that?

    I don't like it one bit. Not even one tiny bit. In fact, it makes me mad as He!!.

    September 6, 2012 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  20. Silence DoGood

    Back 2008, the crowd would have cried out for Obama to stop the rain. Funny what 4 years of reality will do.
    Politifact has Obama at about 37% promises kept so he mortal after all.
    A good guy but I will go liberal next time – Green Party.

    September 6, 2012 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  21. Rick CT

    Given the weather, I understand the change in venue even though I doubt a Carolina Panthers game would be so affected. In any event, it matters not where he gives his speech. And I have no doubt it will be a great and rousing speech – Obama is an accomplished orator. Many of his Hollywood actor supporters could probably do likewise. But the speech is not important. Actions are important and seeing what's happened in the past 3.5 years fuels my desire for a change to someone who values the private sector and will attempt to create an atmosphere that promotes growth and the creation of wealth rather than simpliy trying to redistribute wealth. The fastest way to grow tax revenues and shrink the ballooing deficit if not through increasing tax rates, but instead by fostering economic growth. Unfortunately, there is no evidence that this adminstration even remotely understands that.

    September 6, 2012 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  22. DENNA

    @ – myviewis – DENNA
    Don't you people have any other black people besides Condi Rice?
    ------–

    Yes, ex-Democrat Congressman Artur Davis.
    -------------------------------------–
    Wow. TWO black people. Bravo. Did you see our convention? It looked like the United Nations.

    September 6, 2012 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  23. Lambchop

    Obama may be bummed, but his staffers are thrilled they don't have to answer questions about low attendance in the larger venue. Elizabeth Warren's raindance worked!

    September 6, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  24. Rick CT

    With one correction – Given the weather, I understand the change in venue even though I doubt a Carolina Panthers game would be so affected. In any event, it matters not where he gives his speech. And I have no doubt it will be a great and rousing speech – Obama is an accomplished orator. Many of his Hollywood actor supporters could probably do likewise. But the speech is not important. Actions are important and seeing what's happened in the past 3.5 years fuels my desire for a change to someone who values the private sector and will attempt to create an atmosphere that promotes growth and the creation of wealth rather than simpliy trying to redistribute wealth. The fastest way to grow tax revenues and shrink the ballooing deficit is not through increasing tax rates, but instead by fostering economic growth. Unfortunately, there is no evidence that this adminstration even remotely understands that.

    September 6, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  25. DENNA

    @ 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!
    .............................................................................................................................................................
    What! Are you serious? Hahaha. Oh my goodness you are funny. I didn't realize that you GOPers even had a sense of humor – unless you count the "Clint and the Chair" act. Thanks for my laugh for today. LOLOLOL

    September 6, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
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