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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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
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

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Replaced

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid