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Republican National Convention Opens in New York - 2004-08-30

The Republican National Convention has opened in New York City under extremely heavy security.

One day after a massive protest outside the Madison Square Garden convention site, Republicans are getting down to business. During their four-day gathering party members will re-nominate President Bush for a second term in office.

Monday's speakers include former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who guided the city in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States. A former intra-party rival of President Bush will also address the delegates: Arizona Senator John McCain, whom Mr. Bush defeated for the Republican presidential nomination four years ago.

Mr. McCain is known within his party as someone not afraid to disagree publicly with other Republicans. He is extremely popular with independent voters, a key voting group courted heavily by both Republicans and Democrats.

Speaking on CBS television's Early Show, Senator McCain said he does not agree with President Bush on every issue, but is fully backing the president.

"I am supporting President Bush because of the leadership of the nation he has displayed in this time of the war on terror," he said. "I believe that we [the United Sates] have been able to get rid of a number of adversaries throughout the world."

Thousands of security personnel from more than 20 federal, state and local agencies are mobilized to provide convention-related security in the New York area. City officials say, despite added congestion, numerous inconveniences to residents and heightened costs, the convention is a welcome opportunity to demonstrate New York's resilience after the September 11, 2001 attacks.