Bush May Not Attend Republican Convention Because of Hurricane

Aug 30, 2008 9:12pm

ABC News’ Jennifer Duck reports: As Hurricane Gustav strengthens and threatens the still recovering Gulf Coast, the White House is reevaluating the president’s plans to attend the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn.

President Bush continues to get updates from national and local officials on the ground in Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas and Alabama on the Category 4 storm.

White House Press Secretary Dana Perino told reporters on a conference call, "We continue to evaluate the track of the storm, and I know there is tremendous interest in whether we’ll have any scheduling changes. There is not a scheduling change to speak of tonight, but at the White House we are making contingency plans should the president decide against traveling to Minnesota for the RNC convention."

The president is expected to speak Monday night in St Paul.

Perino added, "This is a very serious storm and the president is asking people in the region to listen to their local officials, heed their warnings, and evacuate if asked."

Bush faced great criticism for the slow federal response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005 when he first surveyed the damage by flying over the area on Air Force One and told then-FEMA Director Michael Brown he was doing a "heck of a job."

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