News / USA

Republican Party Opens Shortened Convention as Storm Skirts Tampa

Chairman of the Republican National Committee Reince Priebus gavels the Republican National Convention open in Tampa, Florida, Monday, Aug. 27, 2012.
Chairman of the Republican National Committee Reince Priebus gavels the Republican National Convention open in Tampa, Florida, Monday, Aug. 27, 2012.
The U.S. Republican Party has formally opened its national convention to nominate presidential candidate Mitt Romney, but it postponed most of the first day's proceedings Monday as a tropical storm skirted the coastline of Florida, the southeastern state hosting the event.

"So it is my privilege to proclaim the 2012 Republican National Convention in session and called to order," said Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus.

Priebus gaveled in the four-day convention in the city of Tampa, and immediately adjourned the session as party officials rescheduled speeches and other events for the remaining three days. The delay was prompted by Tropical Storm Isaac, which forecasters said would pass more than 300 kilometers to the west of Tampa as it moves and strengthens across the Gulf of Mexico.

A resident walks along Bayshore Boulevard in between squalls blowing across the bay in Tampa, Florida, Monday, Aug. 27, 2012.A resident walks along Bayshore Boulevard in between squalls blowing across the bay in Tampa, Florida, Monday, Aug. 27, 2012.
x
A resident walks along Bayshore Boulevard in between squalls blowing across the bay in Tampa, Florida, Monday, Aug. 27, 2012.
A resident walks along Bayshore Boulevard in between squalls blowing across the bay in Tampa, Florida, Monday, Aug. 27, 2012.
Some Republicans expressed concern that Isaac could overshadow the convention if it makes a destructive landfall on the U.S. Gulf Coast later this week. They said such a development may prompt the party to tone down the event's celebratory nature.

Romney aide Russ Schriefer told reporters in Tampa the campaign is following the storm's progress closely.

"You are always concerned about the people who are in the path of the storm. And as I said, that is going to be our first priority, to make sure that we are taking their concerns into account," he said. "So we take it from there - that's where we start."

He also hinted the convention schedule could be revised again.

"As of now, there are no planned changes, but we are always revisiting [the issue] ... we are quick and nimble and I think we will be able to respond to whatever we need to," Schriefer said.

The Republican governor of the Gulf Coast state of Louisiana, Bobby Jindal, canceled his planned convention speech, saying he was staying home to deal with the prospect of Isaac hitting the state as a hurricane this week. He said there is "no time for politics" in Louisiana.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus unveils a large U.S. national debt clock at the opening of the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, August 27, 2012.Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus unveils a large U.S. national debt clock at the opening of the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, August 27, 2012.
x
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus unveils a large U.S. national debt clock at the opening of the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, August 27, 2012.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus unveils a large U.S. national debt clock at the opening of the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, August 27, 2012.
At Monday's brief session, Republican National Committee chairman Priebus also activated two clocks showing the growth in U.S. national debt during the four-day gathering.

"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," he said. "For this convention, we've actually installed a second national debt clock that will log the amount of debt that accrues during the course of this convention."

President Barack Obama, the Democratic incumbent, has said federal spending has grown at the slowest pace in decades under his watch.

A Washington Post opinion poll published Monday shows Obama and Romney in a tight race for the November presidential election. It says Romney has the support of 47 percent of likely voters compared to 46 percent for Obama - little changed from early July's figures.

Another survey released late Sunday by CNN/ORC International says likely voters believe President Obama is more in touch with their needs than is his challenger. It also says those voters believe Romney has better managerial skills and a clearer plan to fix the nation's problems.

2012 Republican Convention

- August 27-30 in Tampa, Florida
- Brings together 2,286 delegates and 2,125 alternative delegates
- Will be covered by up to 15,000 members of the media
- Direct economic impact will be $175-$200 million
- More than 7,500 volunteers are expected
The Republican National Convention proceedings are due to begin Tuesday with a roll call of state delegations to formally nominate Romney and a speech by Romney's wife, Ann. The candidate's vice presidential running mate, Paul Ryan, is due to speak Wednesday, ahead of Romney's acceptance speech on Thursday.

Obama's running mate, Vice President Joe Biden, canceled a series of campaign stops in Florida scheduled for Monday and Tuesday because of the storm. But the Obama campaign kept up the pressure on Republicans Sunday, releasing a movie preview-style video clip mocking the convention as a vain attempt to "do over" Romney's image.

Democrats hold their convention to nominate Obama next month.

Loading...

Some information for this report was provided by AP.


Michael Lipin

Michael covers international news for VOA on the web, radio and TV, specializing in the Middle East and East Asia Pacific. Follow him on Twitter @Michael_Lipin

You May Like

Missouri Town Braces for Possible Racial Unrest

Situation in Ferguson hinges on whether white police officer will be indicted for August shooting death of unarmed black teen More

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of 1930s Deadly Famine

President Poroshenko compares Soviet-era ‘genocide’ to current tactics of pro-Russia rebels in Ukraine's east More

S. Philippines Convictions Elusive 5 Years After Election-related Killings

Officials vowed to deliver justice as the nation marked the anniversary of the country's worst political massacre that left 58 dead, more than half media More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid