Obama tells supporters venue change is 'disappointing'
September 6th, 2012
02:25 PM ET
6 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. Sniffit

    "Did I mention that Michelle smoked Ann? She did. And Clinton smoked Clint's empty chair too.! "

    But he didn't inhale!

    September 6, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  2. Ancient Texan

    Obama couldn't fix the mess he's doubled down on in Four More Terms, let alone 4 years. He took a big problem and made it into a full fledged disaster.

    September 6, 2012 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  3. Marie MD

    Don't worry Mr. President. Unlike the teapublikkklans that can control themselves but they won't we can't control the weather.
    My family will be watching and we all will be voting for you in November even the republicans in our family who can't stand lying altar boy and the no taxes twit!

    September 6, 2012 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  4. ObjectiveGuy

    Hey, disappointing 65,000 people is a whole lot better than disappointing the entire nation, as he has been doing for the past 4 years! Get a clue–that's why there ARE no 65,000 people "disappointed" about not attending, because there never were, and the DNC doesn't want the cameras showing 60,000 empty chairs.

    September 6, 2012 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  5. Brian in DC

    Except the fact that 65K weren't going to show up, what a loser.

    September 6, 2012 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  6. Hammerer

    Buzz is that Obama's speech will be a taped rerun of the State of the Union seech he gave in 2009, 2010, 2011 and a number of times.
    That is the real reason for the venue change.

    September 6, 2012 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  7. DENNA

    @ Bubba from Christian America

    You know Mr. President I could vote for you if did the following

    1. Stop spend money we dont have.
    2. Overturn the Affordable Health.
    3. Join a church
    4. get the gays out of the military
    5. promise not to raise taxes on anyone.
    6. allow social security funds to be invested in the stock market.
    7. allow states to opt out of medcaid.
    8. make the first 20 million of an estate tax free.
    9. Put an end to federal give a way programs ( food stamps. welfare, pell grants)
    10. stop the job killing regulation of business.
    Bet you just drank up Bush' unfunded wars and medicare drug plan, didn't you?

    September 6, 2012 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  8. Gurgyl

    Inevitable happens some times. Just support Obama if you love me....god bless us all, USA and Obama

    September 6, 2012 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  9. max

    I see a lot of sour grapes here. First of all....are you kidding me? This is Barack we are talking about...trust, he can fill any stadium in this US of A. This ain't Mitt the Twit. I am proud that my president is a popular and well liked!!!
    Here is a suggestion, drink some prune juice...and let it go....

    September 6, 2012 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  10. Chris from California

    Did fox shut down there comments sections? cause there sure has been a lot of trolls on CNN as of late

    September 6, 2012 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  11. xfiler93

    well, they just couldnt find enough illegals and dead people to fill the seats!

    September 6, 2012 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  12. NASCAR Mama for Obama

    A few weeks ago a NASCAR race was stopped because of thunderstorms. Later we found out a man was killed and others injured by lightening strikes in the parking lot. I'm glad this is moved inside.

    September 6, 2012 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  13. JJ


    September 6, 2012 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  14. Scott

    Great weather here in Charlotte...check, has been in the forecast as good weather before and since they decided to move...check. Fact that el-lamo can't fill the stadium and needs yet something else to blame...check. I'm sure one of the many snoozer jokes he tells tonight will be that Mother Nature is a Republican.

    September 6, 2012 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  15. don in albuquerque

    Real change is not something you vote for. YOU FIGHT FOR IT!!!!! Win or lose baggers, this fight is far from over. GO OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!! And if you consider what would have happened to this country if the GOP had gotten its way.........WE are ten fold better off then we were four years ago when W left this country in shambles and walked out the door in shame.

    September 6, 2012 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  16. RGD

    It is making my day seeing such posts with wailing and gnashing by GOP faithful on how successful Democratic convention has been and VP and President has not given speeches yet. To top it all stock market roared today thanks to ADP jobs report showing 203,000 jobs have been created in August. Our economy is on upswing and our job market will accelerate next few months just as Clinton's second term did which ended up with 23 million jobs created despite ill-fated impeachment hearings during that span. No president could have done better job as Obama did for our economy after Wall Street debacle in 2008. It took 12 years to get America out of great depression so it is understandable that it has been taking four years to get out of great recession.

    GOP is wasting our time with such anger, bitterness and hatred instead of working with Obama by offering specific economy plans. Don't get me started on 5 trillion dollars worth of additional tax cuts proposed by Mitt "Tax Evader" Romney for so-called "job creators" which are top one percent wage earners, i.e. billionaires and corporations that outsource our jobs to China, India and many other countries and hoarding in excess of 2 trillion dollars instead of investing in American jobs and capital. No wonder independent analysis by several tax experts shows that Romney & Ryan's plan does not even balance our annual government budget till at least 2050.

    Can't wait to see Romney and Ryan paying 39.6 percent for their capital gains taxes in 2013 which is exact same rate during Clinton years instead of current 15 percent which will reduce our deficit dramatically in long term. That will easily happen with do-nothing congress by simply letting Bush taxes expire on Dec. 31, 2012. Trickle down economics never has worked and never will. 39.6 percent tax for top earners=23 million jobs created in 8 years. 15 percent tax for top earners=pathetic 1.3 million jobs created in 12 years while top 1 percent tripled their net worth. Four more years of Obama and Biden and happy days are just around the corner!

    September 6, 2012 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  17. DefendComSen

    I agree with Obama. His "change" is very disappointing.....

    So is his false "hope" for that matter.

    September 6, 2012 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    NASCAR Mama for Obama

    A few weeks ago a NASCAR race was stopped because of thunderstorms. Later we found out a man was killed and others injured by lightening strikes in the parking lot. I'm glad this is moved inside.

    Just as the Republicans have sat back and cheered on every bad thing that has happened in this country from unemployment numbers to the oil BP oil spill - they really wanted the DNC to keep the venue outside just so they could sit back and laugh at the damage done.

    September 6, 2012 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  19. DefendComSen

    RGD – Calm down there off your convention high.

    Also, your math is way off. If you taxed Romney and Ryan all 100% of their earning, and all the earnings of their peers, it would barely make dent in the deficit – especially "dramatically in the long term." Do the numbers yourself if you don't believe me. While you're at it, add in the massive additional debt that Obama will bring about in his next four years and then see if every penny earned by every American can cover our spending and debt.

    September 6, 2012 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  20. don in albuquerque

    Hope is that this country will not be overtaken by Fascism. There is no longer a Republican Party. The party of Lincoln, Ike, and their brand of govt have been hijacked by the Bagger Party. Time to send them down in flames, and make them just a grim reminder in our history that the fight goes on. Patriots? I don't think so. Go Obama!!!

    September 6, 2012 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  21. TechGeekJim

    Obama is a president who has done little else but to incite class warfare. Since when do the great citizens of America despise the success of others? Make no mistake, Obama is no pauper himself. To think otherwise is to lie to yourself. He courts the wealthy for campaign funds just as Mitt does. No more, no less. Obama's call for a "fair shake" is just the redistribution of wealth, his true agenda. There are other countries well traveled on that path. Most are our enemies. In my 24 years of military service, I have been in countries with government controlled heath care. I am here to tell you it does not work. Does everyone get care? Yes. It is the quality of care that suffers. It is the waiting time to get that care that suffers. Maybe that answers the question "Why do people of means travel to America for serious health care issues?". because profit generates money for research, better equipment, better physicians. I've heard a lot about how Obama has lowered the jobless rate from 10.x% to 8.x%. The jobless rate was 6.8% when he took office. Proof? Look at the report issued by the Department of Labor Statistics. Here is the link: http://www.rove.com/polling_notes/0000/0210/Polling_News_and_Notes_6_21_12.pdf. The National debt was 10.66 trillion when he took office. It is now over 16 trillion. Proof? Go to the Department of the Treasury website and use their debt comparison tool at http://www.treasurydirect.gov/NP/NPGateway. The time to blame past administrations is over. We, the American people, are the employers of those in government. If I have an employee who is driving my company into debt, and causing me to lose employees (jobless rate) after his fourth year of taking over the helm, I would can him quicker than you can say "Failure". So the question boils down to this, "ARE WE BETTER OFF THAN WE WERE FOUR YEARS AGO?". The answer is a resounding NO. Mitt is a successful business man. America is a business in trouble. My money is on the businessman.

    September 6, 2012 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  22. DefendComSen

    don in alb – A liberal in Albuquerque? Who'da thunk it?

    When Romney wins in November you can come back and tell me that funny story about th demise of the Republican Party and we'll laugh and laugh...

    September 6, 2012 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  23. DENNA

    @Scott – Unlike the GOP, President Obama's staff made a wise decision. The state of Indiana hesitated to cancel an ourdoor concert and the "mild storm" turned out to be a vicious thunderstorm that injured many and killed one woman. Better safe than sorry. Don't hang your moldy hat on the hope that the venue would not have been filled. The fact that YOU don't like the president means nothing to the thinking world.

    September 6, 2012 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  24. RGD

    Defend, you are absolutely correct, that's why Obama proposed $10 spending cut for every $1 tax increase during summer 2011 debacle and GOP still walked away from that deal on $4 trillion cut for next 10 years since their godfather Norquist threatened to put in horse heads in their beds if they go along with that deal. Oh well. You will learn more during Obama's speech tonight about his deficit plan for next 10 years and hope that GOP will learn how to compromise instead of saying no every time

    September 6, 2012 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  25. DefendComSen

    RGD – Will Obama be as honest in his promises tonight as he was 4 years ago? I sure hope so. He came through on all his '08 promises, didn't he??

    "Proposing" and "doing" are not the same thing – don't be a puppet

    September 6, 2012 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
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