Tampa Mayor: RNC Faces 'Moral Dilemma' If Hurricane Maims Gulf Coast

The mayor of Tampa said that the Republican National Committee faces a “moral dilemma” in how to handle its convention with Hurricane Isaac making a beeline for the Gulf Coast.


“There will be some rain, but I think tonight most of it will clear out and tomorrow is going to be great,” Mayor Bob Buckhorn told CNN this morning about the current situation in the convention city.

But with the storm barreling toward the area slammed by Katrina seven years ago, the mayor said Republicans may have to make other decisions, as well.

“It really is a challenge. I mean, they’ve got to get a nominee out of this process. So out of this event in Tampa has to come a nominee,” Buckhorn said. “But at the same time they have a moral dilemma, in terms of if there’s loss of life or if there is loss of property in New Orleans, what is it that they do?”

“Chairman [Reince] Priebus, I don’t envy him. I mean, it would be a tough decision. But I know they’re going to have to move forward to get Governor Romney nominated so that this process can begin. I would not want to be in the chairman’s shoes this week,” he added.

Buckhorn said that the RNC made the right call in delaying the start of the convention by a day, and even saw a silver lining in a town full of delegates with little to do.


“It was in the best interest of their delegates. It is risky coming across those bridges if you have sustained 40-mile-per-hour winds,” he said. “I think they made the right decision. Delegates will stay indoors and hopefully spend a lot of money and they’ll be back at it tomorrow.”

The Democrat will be headed to Charlotte, N.C., for the DNC next week, but is giving welcoming remarks to the RNC tomorrow and said that this week he’s “agnostic.”

“We want to be the best host that the RNC has ever had and I want to be their favorite mayor,” Buckhorn said. “This to me is not a partisan event. It’s an economic development opportunity and we’ve treated it just like that.”


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