RNC Shuts Down Monday's Events Due To Storm
LAURA SULLIVAN, HOST:
The Republican National Convention, in Tampa, has canceled almost all events for Monday night, citing Tropical Storm Isaac. Convention organizers made that announcement, saying safety is their primary concern. NPR's Jeff Brady is in Tampa, and he joins us now. Jeff, tell us what's happening.
JEFF BRADY, BYLINE: Well, you know, technically, the convention is still going to convene on Monday, as planned. But then, it will immediately recess until Tuesday evening. The president and CEO of the Republican National Convention, Bill Harris, said in a statement that the chief priority is the safety of the residents of Florida, and of those visiting the convention. He says these scheduling changes - announced - will help ensure the continued safety of everybody participating in the convention.
And Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said the decision to delay the effective start of the convention, came after consulting with Florida Gov. Rick Scott, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and local emergency management officials.
SULLIVAN: It's only a one-day delay. Is there a concern that even with the one-day pause, that the convention could be putting people in danger?
BRADY: Well, you know, this storm - it's moving over Cuba now, and the center of it is headed toward the southern tip of Florida. But even up here in Tampa - we're on the central-west coast of Florida - we've been getting some rain and some wind already; quite a bit of wind this afternoon, actually. And forecasters say the bulk of that storm probably will be west of Tampa, but there's still going to be quite a few effects from that storm. And certainly, Southern Florida is going to be - get hit by this tropical storm.
And Florida Gov. Rick Scott is concerned about that. He sent out a statement, saying that he was canceling his planned Monday night speech - even before this announcement that the convention start was being delayed - so that he could respond to the storm. So he's busy working on this storm. He can't be coming to the convention. And so he had a whole bunch of events planned for Sunday and Monday, and he's canceled all of those so he can focus his efforts on the storm.
SULLIVAN: So even before the announcement, the plans were in flux for Monday night.
BRADY: They were. Gov. Mitt Romney's wife, Ann Romney - at first, she was going to speak on Monday night, but then they switched that to Tuesday. There was some concern because the networks weren't agreeing to air events on Monday night. Now, both the Republican and the Democratic conventions will have three evenings broadcast on the major television networks. Ann Romney's speech - the last I heard, it was scheduled to happen on Tuesday. So people are trying to be flexible here but boy, for an event that you've been planning for this long, it's - I'm sure it's difficult for them.
SULLIVAN: NPR's Jeff Brady, joining us from Tampa. Thanks, Jeff.
BRADY: Thank you.
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