Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said on Sunday he is “100 percent” sure the convention will run on Tuesday, after Monday's events were cancelled due to a tropical storm approaching Tampa.
The convention was delayed to keep delegates safe, and Priebus said organizers are confident the storm will not pose an issue for the rest of the convention.
“We don't believe it is tracking even in our direction, because it is tracking the opposite direction, but the problem we had is the driving winds and the sustained winds and the unpredictability was a problem,” he on CNN’s State of the Union. “We could not be assured of the total safety of the buses traveling over long bridges, over open water.”
With higher winds, the Secret Service decided to take down some of the tenting outside of the convention hall. This would have left people with fewer entrances to get in, leaving many outside for longer periods of time, Priebus said.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott said Romney has called him to ask about the tropical storm that has now hit the Florida Keys, praising Romney for his concern.
“I spoke with him twice yesterday and he wanted to know how the citizens of Florida are doing,” Scott said on CNN’s State of the Union. “And it is not about the convention or the issue there, but it is, ‘Tell me about the storm, and tell me about the citizens of the Keys and what is going to happen in the Panhandle.’ That is the type of person he is.”
The exact start time for Tuesday events will be released on Sunday. For speakers likes former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who were scheduled for Monday, it could shorten their speeches. The roll call to officially nominate Romney will likely take place on Tuesday.
Sen. John McCain, who found himself in a similar situation four years ago with a delayed convention in Minnesota, said on Sunday he was hopeful the convention would continue as planned after the one-day delay.
“I trust the judgment of your weather expert on that,” McCain said on NBC’s Meet the Press. “I certainly hope that we can begin the real business of the convention on Tuesday. Those are the important three days. I hope we can move forward with it. If we don't, I think it will be very unfortunate, not just for the Republican Party, but a long standing tradition of three or four days of intense political campaigning so that the Republican Party and the nominee can make their case.”
The important days of the party’s convention, McCain said, is the latter half, where Romney and other big-named figures will deliver their speeches.
“It’s Wednesday and Thursday night that are the big moments,” he said. “I don't think it will be damaging if we lose the first night, but it could be harmful if we lose more than that.”
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