Republican convention starts Tuesday despite storm: chairman

WASHINGTON Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:38am EDT

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney speaks at a campaign rally in Powell, Ohio August 25, 2012. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney speaks at a campaign rally in Powell, Ohio August 25, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Brian Snyder

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republicans, who have postponed the start of their national convention in Tampa, Florida, by one day because of the threat from Tropical Storm Isaac, will not delay it further and will start the proceedings on Tuesday, the party's chairman said on Sunday.

"We're 100 percent full-steam ahead on Tuesday," Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus told CNN.

The convention where Mitt Romney will be nominated as the party's candidate to challenge President Barack Obama in the November 6 election was originally scheduled to run from Monday to Thursday.

Priebus said on Saturday that the convention would start its business on Tuesday afternoon because of Isaac. A new schedule is coming out later on Sunday including an exact start time on Tuesday, he told CNN.

"So far, the word is that almost all of it is going to be accommodated into the Tuesday-Wednesday programming," Priebus said. "I think you're going to see that there might be some shortening of speeches. But most of our guests are going to be accommodated."

Asked whether the Republicans' message would be drowned by Isaac, Priebus said: "We're going to tell the Mitt Romney story, we're still going to prosecute the president on what he promised, what he delivered, and why we think we need to save this country and put Mitt Romney in the White House."

Isaac was expected to hit the Florida Keys late Sunday at or near hurricane strength. Tampa, located on Florida's west coast, faces a threat of both winds and heavy rains from the storm as it moves through the Gulf of Mexico, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

(Reporting by David Morgan; Writing by Mohammad Zargham; Editing by Vicki Allen)

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