Hurricane's Arrival On U.S. Shore Casts Cloud Over RNC
Hurricane Isaac may have mostly bypassed Tampa but it was still very much on the convention delegates' minds Tuesday. NY1's Bobby Cuza filed the following report.
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Republicans on Tuesday got down to business at their convention in Tampa, Florida but with something of a disclaimer.
"First, I'd like to offer our thoughts and prayers for the safety of those in the pathway of the hurricane," said Republican National Chairman Reince Priebus.
Not only could the hurricane divert media attention from the Republicans' big showcase, there's the obvious image problem of Republican revelry amid devastation in the Gulf. But while convention organizers remain in regular contact with the National Weather Service, for now, no further schedule changes are being contemplated.
"Right now, you know, it's hard to say exactly what will wind up happening, other than the plan is for the program and show to go on," said Romney Campaign Advisor Brian Jones.
Isaac made landfall along the southeast coast of Louisiana Tuesday night as a Category 1 hurricane. Packing 80 mile-per-hour winds, the slow-moving storm is sure to test New Orleans' flood protection system. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal skipped what had been a speaking role at the convention to deal with hurricane readiness.
"We're gonna see heavy rains and heavy winds, in some areas 24 to 36 hours," Jindal said in a press briefing.
President Barack Obama addressed the hurricane in a White House briefing and again at a campaign stop.
"America will be there to help folks recover no matter what this storm brings, because when disaster strikes, we're not Democrats or Republicans first, we are Americans first. We're one family," Obama said.
President Obama made stops in Iowa and Colorado Tuesday. He heads to Virginia on Wednesday, keeping to his campaigns schedule. As for Mitt Romney, he was in Tampa on Tuesday, two days ahead of his scheduled acceptance speech.