RNC organizers trying to fit all speakers in, despite losing a day
For the organizers of the convention, the approach of Tropical Storm Isaac has presented a unique challenge, squeezing a four day event, into three. Erin Billups has more on how they're trying to manage a condensed convention.
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TAMPA, Fla. -- For the second Republican National Convention in a row, a major storm has forced organizers to scramble and rework the schedule, squeezing four days of programs into three.
"We're planning for a Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday convention and we have a wait and see attitude to see what happens with the storm," said Russ Schriefer, Romney for President Strategist.
All of the notable speakers on Monday's program were spread across the remaining three days. Ann Romney, who had Monday's keynote time slot, was moved to Tuesday night right before New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, though the RNC was already planning on moving her when it was clear the networks were not going to air her live. Kentucky Senator Rand Paul was moved to Wednesday and Texas State Senate Candidate Ted Cruz, seen as a rising star in the GOP, was moved to Tuesday, along with House Speaker John Boehner.
"We're still going to have a great message, convention, we're gonna drive our message and we look forward to kicking things off," Convention Press Secretary Kyle Downey said.
Speeches were shortened to fit everyone in, but others from states being threatened by Isaac are rethinking their presence at the convention. Florida Governor Rick Scott was scheduled to speak on Monday. He won't speak at all, choosing instead to focus his attention on his state.
Billionaire Donald Trump was on the Monday line up and was expected to unveil a "big surprise." But his spokesman says at this point Trump's not planning on being in Tampa, though that is subject to change.
Schriefer said, “Just because he's [not] here doesn't mean he's not going to show up."
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, who was scheduled to speak Wednesday, may also skip the convention because of the storm.
While the RNC is sticking to its Tuesday through Thursday schedule, they still haven't completely ruled out extending activities to Friday. It all depends on Isaac.
Schriefer said, "If any of us could predict the weather, we would probably be in a much better place."