As a possible hurricane makes its way through the Caribbean,Republicans say they're making plans to ensure Mitt Romney is formallynominated next week in Tampa as their presidential nominee.
"There is no such thing as canceling," Republican National Committee communications director Sean Spicer said today on CNN's Starting Point.
Spicersaid the health and safety of convention delegates, guests and othervisitors to the Republican National Convention are a top priority, butvarious contingency plans have been drawn up should Tropical Storm Isaachit the Tampa Bay area. The political business will go on, he said.
"We'rehoping for the best. We've got the plans in place should anything occurand that's how we're going forward," Spicer said. "We're going to keeplooking forward to having a great convention."
Afew hours later, convention CEO William Harris issued a less-decisivestatement saying: "The Republican National Convention and the RepublicanNational Committee, working in consultation with the Romney/Ryancampaign, are in regular contact with the National Weather Service,Governor Scott and local emergency officials in an effort to track andunderstand the potential impact of the storm. Governor Scott and localemergency officials have assured us that they have the resources inplace to respond to this storm should it make landfall, as our primaryconcern is with those in the potential path of the storm. We willcontinue to work closely with them and federal officials to monitor thestorm and discuss any impact it might have on the Tampa area and thestate of Florida. We continue to move forward with our planning and lookforward to a successful convention."
The convention beginsMonday at the Tampa Bay Times Forum and runs through Thursday, whenRomney is slated to accept the GOP nomination.
Weather forecasterssay Tropical Storm Isaac will likely become a Category 1 hurricane byFriday. Isaac is expected to weaken a little over the DominicanRepublic, Haiti and Cuba and then possibly move to Florida by Monday.
Whilethe weather's impact on the GOP convention has been talked about a lot,FEMA Director Craig Fugate said a bigger concern is making sure peoplein the Florida Keys and southwest Florida are prepared.
Fugate, aformer emergency management official in Florida, said during a briefingtoday that the state conducted an exercise earlier this year to figureout what would happen if a hurricane occurred during RNC events.
CNN aired the Florida briefing, which included Florida Gov. Rick Scott. The governor said his state is ready.
"Putaside the RNC convention for a moment, Florida has a lot of experiencedealing with hurricanes," said Scott, who is scheduled to speak at theconvention on Monday. "We're going to be prepared for Isaac in the eventit does impact our state, in the event it does become a hurricane."