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Friday, August 24, 2012

Biden Postpones Campaign Visit to Tampa


Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. has postponed an in-your-face visit to Tampa scheduled for Monday, his office said Friday night.

Mr. Biden planned a campaign stop in the city even as Mitt Romney's nominating convention got underway. But his office said the visit might drain law enforcement resources needed to deal with Tropical Storm Isaac. The storm unleashed heavy rain over Haiti on Friday and as it moved northwest, National Hurricane Center predictions had it passing over Cuba this weekend and re-emerging in the Gulf of Mexico on Monday, sliding past the west coast of Florida on Monday.

“This change in schedule is being taken out of an abundance of caution to ensure that all local law enf orcement and emergency management resources can stay focused on ensuring the safety of people who might be impacted by the storm, as well as those attending the activities in Tampa,” said a release from President Obama's campaign.

Mr. Biden has eagerly become aggressive in attacking Mr. Romney and his running mate, Representative Paul D. Ryan. At a fund-raiser in the Hamptons on Friday afternoon, Mr. Biden accused Republicans of wanting to “basically totally obstruct anything that would help the country.”

He said the budget proposed by Mr. Ryan and embraced by Mr. Romney was “the previous eight years on steroids.”

Those were the messages that Mr. Biden was preparing to take to Tampa, part of an effort by the Obama campaign to keep the pressure on their rivals, even during the height of Mr. Romney's nominating convention. Mr. Obama is planning several campaign stops next week as well.

But the arrival of the vice president in any town is disru ptive, even in the best circumstances. Roads must be closed for the motorcade, using plenty of local police officers. That would be even more complicated during a hurricane or tropical storm.

The campaign did not say whether Mr. Biden might reschedule the visit to Tampa for later in the week. The vice president was also scheduled to visit Orlando and St. Augustine, Florida later in the week.