Republican U.S. presidential candidate Senator John McCain says it would be inappropriate to appear festive at the Republican National Convention, as a dangerous hurricane bears down on the U.S. coast.
The White House says President Bush will not attend the convention as scheduled, so he can oversee the federal response to the hurricane along the Gulf of Mexico coastline.
The convention is scheduled to open in St. Paul, in the northern state of Minnesota on Monday.
In a pre-recorded interview taped Saturday on Fox News Sunday, McCain said his party was looking at various ways to hold the convention while addressing the challenge of a possible disaster.
Presidential campaigning was in full swing Sunday, with Democratic nominee Senator Barack Obama of Illinois planning to discuss the economy in the midwestern U.S. state of Ohio.
McCain and his vice-presidential pick, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, are expected to travel to the Gulf Coast state of Mississippi to review hurricane preparations.
McCain defended his choice of Palin, a relative unknown on the national political scene, during the Fox News interview.
Senator McCain of Arizona called Palin "a partner and a soulmate," saying she would be an asset as he works to reform the government.
He said he has been watching Palin for years and he trusts her judgment on foreign issues including the war in Iraq and Iranian nuclear ambitions.
McCain added his campaign has raised $4 million* in the past few days alone. He appeared to attribute those gains to Palin, saying that he wished he had brought her on board a month ago, as opposed to Friday.
* Corrects typo in original posting of article, which was missing the word "million".
Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.