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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Republicans Consider Whether to Cancel First Day of Convention


TAMPA - Republicans here are warily eyeing the rapidly approaching Tropical Storm Isaac and are considering whether they will need to cancel the first day of their nominating convention on Monday, officials said.

Top aides to Mitt Romney who are in charge of the convention planning have scheduled a news conference call for 6:45 p.m. Eastern time to discuss the convention and the approaching storm.

A news release says the topic of the call will be to “discuss Tropical Storm Isaac and preparations to ensure the safety of Florida residents and visiting R.N.C. convention delegates and guests.”

Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, and Russ Schriefer, a top aide to Mr. Romney, will lead the conference call.

Canceling the first day would disrupt a carefully planned schedule that had been designed to highlight Mr. Romney's qualifications and offer a critique of President Obama.< /p>

But the three broadcast news networks had already deemed the first day to be less interesting, deciding not to carry any of the prime time speeches live from that night.

In response, convention planners had already moved Ann Romney's planned Monday night speech to Tuesday.

As of Saturday evening, the tropical storm was headed into the Gulf of Mexico after battering Haiti. The track of the storm suggested that it could bring heavy rains and winds to south Florida and perhaps to the state's western coast, where Tampa is located.