The Republican National Convention will delay its first day of activity to allow public safety resources in Tampa, Fla., to be dedicated to helping with the expected impact of Hurricane Isaac.
“Due to the severe weather reports for the Tampa Bay area, the Republican National Convention will convene on Monday August 27th and immediately recess until Tuesday afternoon, August 28th, exact time to follow,” RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said in a memo today.
AccuWeather reported this afternoon that “Isaac will close out the weekend pounding South Florida, but will make its final landfall as a powerful Category 2 hurricane along the northern Gulf Coast around Tuesday night.”
As a tropical storm, Isaac lashed Haiti with heavy rain this morning.
“Our first priority is ensuring the safety of delegates, alternates, guests, members of the media attending the Republican National Convention, and citizens of the Tampa Bay area. RNC Convention officials and the Romney campaign are working closely with state, local and federal officials, as well as the Secret Service, to monitor Tropical Storm Isaac and preserve Florida’s emergency management resources. Officials have predicted participants may encounter severe transportation difficulties due to sustained wind and rain,” Priebus said.
“The Convention staff is working around-the-clock to ensure the delegations housed in storm-impacted areas have alternative housing if needed. The Committee on Arrangements will provide additional information to delegates and alternate delegates who are affected by Isaac by Sunday morning. We will also provide guidance to those delegates and alternate delegates who may encounter travel difficulties due to the storm.”
A revised speaking schedule is expected. Monday’s speakers were to include Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio), hosting Gov. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), former Democratic Rep. Artur Davis (Ala.), Texas Senate Republican candidate Ted Cruz, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Puerto Rican first lady Lucé Vela Fortuño, and Ann Romney.
Scott is withdrawing from his convention role to focus on guiding his state through the storm.