Republicans have canceled the first day of their national convention with the looming threat of Tropical Storm Isaac heading for Florida's coast.
In a statement issued late Saturday, Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, said the opening day of the convention was simply not as important as the lives of people in the area.
As of Saturday night, the storm was moving into the Gulf of Mexico after having blown through Haiti. South Florida is expecting to be hit with heavy rain and gale-force winds, as well as possibly Tampa, where the convention is scheduled, on the western coast along the Gulf.
"Our first priority is ensuring the safety of delegates, alternates, guests, members of the media attending the Republican National Convention and citizens of the Tampa Bay Area,” he said.
"R.N.C. Convention officials and the Romney campaign are working closely with state, local and federal officials, as well as the Secret Service, to monitor Tropical Storm Isaac and preserve Florida's emergency management resources. Officials have predicted participants may encounter severe transportation difficultues due to sustained wind and rain,” he added.
The convention is expected to open officially Monday but then is to immediately adjourn until an as-yet-undetermined time on Tuesday.
The official nomination of Mitt Romney as the GOP's presidential candidate, and Paul Ryan as the party's vice presidential running mate, will go on as scheduled later this week, Priebus said.