Republicans And Tropical Storm Isaac Head To Florida
The convention will officially open Monday but immediately recess until Tuesday.
Republicans said their first concern was for the safety of delegates and guests, The New York Times reported.
“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,” Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, said in a statement.
“R.N.C. 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.”
The storm hit Haiti Saturday, reportedly killing three people, the Associated Press reported. Weather forecasters said Isaac poses a threat to Florida Monday and Tuesday, where 70,000 delegates, journalists and protesters are expected for the convention.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott on Saturday declared a state of emergency to begin on Sunday in the Florida Keys and extending into the Panhandle, the AP reported. The storm is expected to travel up the Gulf of Mexico, offshore of the state’s west coast, as a hurricane on Monday.
According to the AP, Tampa is within Isaac’s possible strike zone but will most likely move toward landfall on the Panhandle late Tuesday or early Wednesday.
Vice President Joe Biden was set to make an appearance in Tampa on Monday. President Obama’s campaign released a statement Saturday saying the trip was postponed “due to disaster preparedness and local security concerns.”
According to WFMY News, Biden will still visit Orlando and St. Augustine on Tuesday.
A tropical storm hit the Tampa Bay area in June, the AP reported, causing thousands of homes and businesses to lose power, and streets and bridges to be closed. Officials are closely watching the storm in case they need to order evacuations.
"Public safety will always trump politics," Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn told the AP. "And so my job, and our job, if we move into that mode, is to make sure we get people out of harm's way. I don't care whether they're anarchists or they're delegates.”
Keep an eye out for Neon Tommy's coverage of the Republican National Convention next week.
Reach Executive Producer Agnus Dei Farrant here.