News / USA

Republican Convention Gets Down to Business Tuesday

Delegates watch a video presentation during an abbreviated session of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., Aug. 27, 2012. Delegates watch a video presentation during an abbreviated session of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., Aug. 27, 2012.
x
Delegates watch a video presentation during an abbreviated session of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., Aug. 27, 2012.
Delegates watch a video presentation during an abbreviated session of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., Aug. 27, 2012.
TAMPA, Florida — U.S. Republicans meeting in Tampa, Florida, plan to get down to business Tuesday after their national nominating convention was delayed a day by the effects of Tropical Storm Isaac.  

The Republican National Convention will finally kick into high gear Tuesday with speeches from New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and from Ann Romney, wife of the soon-to-be presidential nominee, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.

The Republican gathering briefly convened Monday and then recessed until Tuesday, giving delegates a day off before they get down to the business of formally nominating Mitt Romney and his vice presidential running mate, Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan.

In opening the convention, Republican National Chairman Reince Priebus unveiled what organizers called the National Debt Clock to track the deepening federal government debt during the next three days.

“We also want to draw your attention to the unprecedented fiscal recklessness of the Obama administration as depicted by the real time National Debt Clock shown here in the arena," said Priebus.

  • The weather was overcast and raining early Monday, when the convention site was largely deserted except for media and security in Tampa, Florida, August 27, 2012. (J. Featherly/VOA)
  • Developments about Hurricane Isaac were closely watched at all parts of the convention site. (J. Featherly/VOA)
  • RNC banners are hung all over Tampa, Florida, August 27, 2012. (J. Featherly/VOA)
  • One of the many security checkpoints leading to the Republican National Convention. (J. Featherly/VOA)
  • Streets within the security cordon were deserted ahead of the convention in Tampa. (J. Featherly/VOA)
  • All televisions were tuned to weather coverage inside the Tampa Bay Times Forum. (J. Featherly/VOA)
  • The Tampa Bay Times Forum before the convention was due to be briefly called to order, August 27, 2012. (J. Featherly/VOA)
  • Officials meet on the main stage at the Republican National Convention shortly before it was called to order for ten minutes, Tampa, Florida, August 27, 2012. (N. Pinault/VOA)
  • Seating assignments are put out ahead of the convention, Tampa, Florida, August 27, 2012. (N. Pinault/VOA)
  • The debt clock on display at the Republican National Convention. (J. Featherly /VOA)
  • The Tampa Bay Times Forum before delegates began arriving. (J. Featherly/VOA)

But if Republicans are distracted by anything here it is the track of Isaac, which has set off hurricane warnings for the central coast of the Gulf of Mexico, including New Orleans, Louisiana, which was battered by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

President Barack Obama has already signed a disaster declaration for Louisiana in anticipation of damage from Isaac.

In 2005, then-President George W. Bush was harshly criticized for his administration’s late and ineffective response to the Katrina disaster, and many Republicans here are sensitive to those memories.

Among them is one of Mitt Romney’s former rivals for the Republican presidential nomination, Georgia businessman Herman Cain, who believes the convention should continue as scheduled.

“Just be mindful of it but don’t call it off unless there is some major, major, major tragedy like Hurricane Katrina," said Cain.

Convention spokesman Russ Schriefer says the party intends to compress four days of speakers into the next three days but will also keep an eye on Isaac.

“Obviously our first concern is for the people in the path of the storm," said Schriefer. "So as we continue to move ahead we are planning for a Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday convention and we have a wait-and-see attitude to see what happens with the storm.”

Delegates and party officials seem upbeat despite losing the first day of the convention due to weather concerns.

Virginia Congressman Randy Forbes says the party has never been more enthusiastic about its chances in November against President Barack Obama, and he says that enthusiasm will be on display on the convention floor this week in Tampa.

But Forbes acknowledges that weather concerns may draw attention away from the convention.

“I think the weather is a distraction," said forbes. "I think the weather will take away from the convention.  But like other hurdles we will overcome it and we’ll not only survive it but will turn it into something that is positive.”

A few hundred protesters, including some from the Occupy Movement, were  on the streets in Tampa Monday.  But that was well down from the thousands some had predicted and security forces kept them far away from the convention site.

Jason Woody was among them.

“It's definitely important to be out here, to get our voices heard, you know to let the Republicans know that we the people really aren't having it and we're tired," he said.

Watch related report by Greg Flakus:  Protesters Converge on Tampa for Republican Convention
Protesters Converge on Tampa for Republican Conventioni
|| 0:00:00
X
Greg Flakus
August 28, 2012 11:14 AM
More than three years after the U.S. economy fell into deep recession, protesters outside the Republican National Convention point to what they call a continuing crisis of unemployment and homelessness. As delegates prepare to nominate Mitt Romney amidst a glitzy three-day party in Tampa, Florida, demonstrators camped out in the heavy rains of a tropical storm. VOA's Greg Flakus reports.

Mitt Romney will be officially nominated Tuesday after a roll call of the state delegations.  Romney accumulated the necessary delegates during the numerous state primary and caucus elections earlier this year.

On Wednesday, the spotlight will be on Romney’s running mate, Congressman Paul Ryan, who will give a speech to the convention.

Romney will follow with an acceptance speech of his own on Thursday, a chance to reintroduce himself to the American public when an estimated 30 to 40 million people will be watching the convention proceedings on television or on-line.

The latest national polls show the race between Romney and the president is a virtual dead-heat.

You May Like

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid