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

N. Korea Sentences American to 6 Years Hard Labor

Matthew Miller's brief trial Sunday comes two weeks after 24-year old Miller and two other American detainees appealed to the US government to help free them More

Pakistan Rejects Afghan Criticism of 480-kilometer Border Trench

Military spokesman tells VOA the project is part of administrative and security measures taken to secure the mountainous border with Afghanistan More

Photogallery Typhoon Kalmaegi Makes Landfall in Philippines

Storm makes landfall late Sunday, cutting power and communications lines and forcing people to flee to higher ground More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interesti
X
Henry Ridgwell
September 12, 2014 8:35 PM
The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video Palestinians Turn to Rebuilding Gaza

After almost two months of conflict in Gaza, Palestinians are preparing to rebuild the isolated Mediterranean enclave with assistance from abroad. Meanwhile, an international human rights group has found that Israel likely violated international laws of war during some of its attacks on Gaza. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Middle Eastern Church Leaders Highlight Christians’ Plight

Patriarchs of Eastern Rite churches came to Washington this week to draw attention to the attacks against Christians in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East. VOA’s religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid