But Isaac was nonetheless wreaking havoc with the convention schedule, having already delayed Monday’s opening by a day, and continuing to upend the travel plans of many of the estimated 50,000 delegates, media and others planning to attend.
Romney campaign strategist Russ Schriefer told reporters Sunday evening that all of Monday’s headline speakers had been rescheduled for later in the week and other daytime speakers had been dropped from the program or their speeches will be shortened. The program will begin at 7 p.m. instead of 8 p.m., but there are no other plans to cancel or shift events, he said. “We’re obviously monitoring what is going on with the weather,” Schriefer added.
Among those who cancelled or put a hold on their appearances at the convention were the governors of four states likely to be most heavily affected by the storm: Rick Scott of host-state Florida; Louisiana’s Bobby Jindall, Mississippi’s Phil Bryant and Alabama’s Robert Bentley.
What did not get interrupted, however, was the campaign combat. Leading Republicans took to the airwaves to give a preview of the message they plan to deliver at the convention.
Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, who will be officially anointed as the GOP nominee this week, attempted to shore up his support among women voters in an interview on Fox News Sunday. He accused President Obama and the Democrats of exploiting recent controversies, including the one that Rep. Todd Akin, the Republican Senate candidate in Missouri, created with his comments about rape.
“It really is sad, isn’t it, with all the issues that America faces, for the Obama campaign to continue to stoop to such a low level,” Romney said.
Obama, in an interview with the Associated Press, had accused Romney of taking “extreme positions that are very consistent with positions that a number of House Republicans have taken. And whether he actually believes in those or not, I have no doubt that he would carry forward some of the things that he’s talked about.”
Indeed, the rough weather itself became a metaphor as the Republicans warmed up for their convention. “You know, tidal waves often follow hurricanes. And in November, a tidal wave is coming,” thundered tea party favorite and U.S. Senate candidate from Texas Ted Cruz, at a pre-convention gathering sponsored by the Faith and Freedom Coalition, an organization that seeks to mobilize evangelical voters.