ABC News’ Karen Travers reports: In an interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace that will air Sunday morning, Sen. John McCain indicated that the GOP convention could be suspended because of Hurricane Gustav.
"It wouldn’t be appropriate to have a festive occasion while a near tragedy or a terrible challenge is presented in the form of a natural disaster," McCain told Wallace.
McCain said that he has been in touch with the governors of the Gulf Coast states—where Gustav is expected to make landfall—and that his campaign would continue to monitor the now-Category 4 storm.
"I’m afraid, Chris, that we may have to look at that situation and we’ll try and monitor it. I’ve been talking to Governors Jindal [La.], Barbour [Miss.], Riley [Ala.], Crist [Fla.], I’ve been talking to all of them," McCain told Wallace. "So we’re monitoring it from day to day and I’m saying a few prayers too."
A Republican convention official tells ABC News, however, that at this point, there are no plans to cancel the convention but there are several contingency plans that are being looked at in terms of delegation travel and the program of speakers. Both Crist and Jindal are scheduled to speak at the convention this week, but no decisions have been made yet on their plans to come to Minneapolis-Saint Paul.
This official says the Republican National Convention Committee is "still moving forward with opening the convention on Monday" as planned and notes that there is official business that has to happen at the convention, like the actual nomination of John McCain and the platform ratification.
The RNCC has issued the following statement from 2008 Republican National Convention President and CEO Maria Cino:
"Like all Americans, our prayers are with those who will be affected by Hurricane Gustav. We continue to closely monitor the movement of the storm and are considering necessary contingencies. We are in communication with the Gulf state governors to make sure the convention is taking all the appropriate steps as the hurricane progresses. The safety of our affected delegations is our first priority and preparing for Gustav comes before anything else."