Reporting Chris May
By Chris May
TAMPA, FL. (CBS) — With the Monday session of the Republican National Convention now canceled, the big challenge for the GOP in Tampa is to cram four days worth of convention activities into three.
And it’s all thanks to Isaac.
The stage is set for a convention here. They’re all ready to go. But as the storm gathers strength and threatens Florida’s Gulf Coast there is great concern for the safety of the 4,400 delegates and the 15,000 members of the media who are here.
Earlier, I spoke with RNC Chairman Reince Priebus about the decision to cancel day one of the convention and how he makes up for lost time.
“If you fill this stadium and then things deteriorate, what do you do with the people,” he told me. “It became a simple decision to cancel day one and then absorb what you can on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.”
The New Jersey delegation is one of many that is headquartered in St. Petersburg, which is right across the bay. But in order for those delegates to reach the convention site they have to ride in busses over a narrow, four-mile long bridge that sits less than 50 feet above the water. With the possibility of strong winds and a storm surge that could push the water over the bridge that’s a risk the RNC was not willing to take.
Still, they believe the storm’s effects will have passed by early Tuesday morning. So while Monday is off, the Republican National Convention will be full steam ahead come Tuesday.