News / USA

Republicans Descend on Tampa, Florida

Republicans Descend on Tampa, Floridai
|| 0:00:00
X
August 27, 2012
The thousands of Republican Party members descending on the city of Tampa are joined by an unwanted visitor - a tropical storm that threatens to reach hurricane strength. This week, Republicans will nominate a former state governor, Mitt Romney, as their candidate for U.S. president at the Republican National Convention. The party chose to hold its convention in Florida, a hurricane-prone southeastern state that most analysts say Romney must win if he is to defeat President Barack Obama in November. VOA’s Suzanne Presto has more from Tampa.
TEXT SIZE - +
Suzanne Presto
The thousands of Republican Party members descending on the city of Tampa are joined by an unwanted visitor - a tropical storm that threatens to reach hurricane strength.

This week, Republicans will nominate a former state governor, Mitt Romney, as their candidate for U.S. president at the Republican National Convention. The party chose to hold its convention in Florida, a hurricane-prone southeastern state that most analysts say Romney must win if he is to defeat President Barack Obama in November.

Barbara Denti Pool is decorating the historic Italian Club of Tampa with red elephants, the color and symbol of the Republican Party.

“We're thrilled, absolutely thrilled, to have everyone here,” she said.

Denti Pool says Republican candidate Mitt Romney is the best choice to help the economy rebound.

“We all want a good, honest life, and we want to prosper like we saw our immigrant parents and grandparents [do]. They built this town,” she said.

“This town” is Tampa, Florida, known for its water views, sultry climate and, for these few weeks, elephants aplenty.

“For somebody who is really into politics, we've got the elephant,” said Jon Brovold, who sells assorted Republican-themed souvenirs near the site of the Republican National Convention.

“We've got Mitt Romney here, the puppet, and this has been very popular,” he said.

But former Massachusetts governor Romney isn't popular with everyone. Rallies against the Republican candidate are planned here.

Florida is known as a “swing state” because neither political party can count on winning over its voters in the American state-by-state winner-take-all system. In 2008, Florida’s electoral bounty went to Democratic President Barack Obama. In 2004, it went to Republican George W. Bush.

It's also impossible to rely on the weather in the so-called Sunshine State. Tropical Storm Isaac approached Florida, forcing airlines to cancel flights and the Republican Party to delay the start of the convention.

Florida Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency Saturday.

"I've made the decision based on the fact that we know we are going to have a very strong tropical storm and possibly a hurricane - I'm going to withdraw from all our RNC [Republican National Committee] activities on Monday,” he said.

In Tampa's Latin Quarter, Ybor City, Cuban heritage is served up with fried plantains and Cuban sandwiches at Gaspar’s Grotto. Nearly a quarter of Florida's residents are of Hispanic origin, and the Republicans need their votes. Romney campaigned in Miami, Florida, earlier this month with his son, Craig.

Long before Romney secured the Republican nomination and chose Paul Ryan to be his vice presidential running mate, the Republican party picked Tampa to be the site of its convention.

“Initially, I thought it was a smart move. It's an obvious swing state. It's a way to appeal to Latino voters," said Professor Jennifer Lawless, who teaches politics at American University in Washington D.C.  "But now I think they also have a lot of making up to do because they need to demonstrate to the Florida voters that a Romney/Ryan administration would not ultimately throw seniors off a cliff.”

Ryan wants to make controversial changes to Medicare, the government healthcare plan for elderly Americans, which is sure to be a big issue in a state whose warm climate makes it a favorite place for retirees.

The convention, held at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, runs until August 30.

You May Like

Abuja Blast Impacts Lives, Livelihoods

Officials say they are looking at ways to help bombing victims and boosting security More

Cambodia Technology Adviser Criticizes Cybercrime Draft Law

Phu Leewood says current criminal code can be used to prosecute offenders and that there is no need for a separate law More

Photogallery A Year Later, Boston Remembers Deadly Marathon Bombings

City pauses to honor victims and salute emergency workers who came to their assistance in frantic moments after blasts 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