Tampa Debt Clocks Tick On But RNC Cuts Its Monday Activities Short
The Republican National Convention was supposed to get underway in Tampa, Fla. on Monday with speeches from Mike Huckabee, Senator Rand Paul and others, but instead the threat of Tropical Storm Isaac kept official business down condensed to less than a minute. NY1's Bobby Cuza filed the following report.
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The Republican National Convention technically opened in Tampa, Fla. on Monday.
"It is my privilege to proclaim the 2012 Republican National Convention in session and called to order," said Republican National Chairman Reince Priebus before he banged a gavel.
Then, 30 seconds later, Priebus gaveled out, recessing the convention until Tuesday. The day's events were postponed due to weather but a few hundred delegates filled the convention floor anyway. A video played to begin the slow build to Mitt Romney's acceptance speech on Thursday.
"I'm Mitt Romney, I believe in America, and I'm running for president of the United States," Romney says in the video.
In the end, Tropical Storm Isaac mostly steered clear of the Florida coast. Monday brought rain but also some clear patches.
With the storm headed for the Gulf Coast, convention delegates said they their thoughts were with those in the path of danger, but insisted the show must go on.
"The messaging goes on, the speakers go on, and the nomination will go on. That's the business of the convention," said a delegate.
"It's exciting. It's exciting to kick this convention off, and I think America's ready for a change," said another delegate.
Keeping on message, the Tampa arena featured not only a running national debt clock; but also one that began running Monday, tracking debt the country accumulates during the convention itself.
Barring any further changes, the convention will get underway in earnest on Tuesday, when Mitt Romney will be formally nominated during a roll call vote of delegates on the convention floor. Then Tuesday night brings headlining speeches by Ann Romney and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
Christie's aides deflected a report that he was offered the vice presidential nomination before Paul Ryan.
The governor said the convention is an opportunity to reset the campaign.
"It's going to come down to the major speeches in this convention, and are those speeches, and the things that we talk about, are they going to appeal to the mainstream of the country?" said Christie.
Convention attendees will find that out by the end of the week.