Republican National Convention 2012 Live Blog – Here’s a lively and curated live blog of the events in Tampa surrounding the Republican National Convention. After Monday’s delay due to Hurricane Isaac, the gathering of GOP delegates gets underway in earnest with a packed schedule that includes the roll call to officially select Mitt Romney as the Republican nominee and the whole thing ends tonight with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s keynote address. In between, Ann Romney, with a speech to the convention and interviews with the press, will seek to do more to humanize her husband. We got the first taste of that process with yesterday’s interview of the 5 Romney sons by ABC’s Diane Sawyer.
Ann Romney’s Full Speech:
Highlights of Chris Christie:
Christie by the Numbers – 10:55 – Russell Goldman reports there are actually 32 (thirty-two) instances of the word “I” in Christie’s speech. There are seven mentions of the word “Mitt.” There aren’t any instances of the word “Obama.” But there is a “Mr. President.”
“Mr. President, real leaders don’t follow polls. Real leaders change polls.”
The Me Convention – 10:54 – Amy Walter says this: There is lots being made about how much time the speakers have given to their story – not Mitt’s story. Yet, it is worth noting that it’s not just Mitt Romney’s image that has taken a beating in the last few months, but the GOP party as well. Each speaker is trying to fill the gap that we ascribe primarily to Romney: the relatability gap. Each speaker has focused on his/her humble roots. On understanding the regular American and the value of the American dream.
Local NJ – 10:52 – In spending so much time focused on education, Christie is highlighting an area where the Obama administration has found some agreement with Republicans like Jeb Bush. More on that here.
#IStandWithAnn – Yahoo!’s Chris Wilson reports from monitoring Twitter – Ann Romney’s speech will probably end up having generated more buzz than Christie’s, but he’s up a few points on the favorability scale since he began talking: 56 percent to 60 percent positive. The campaign tried hard to push #WeBuiltIt with moderate success, but #IStandWithAnn was the breakout hashtag.
‘Tonight We’re Going to Choose Respect Over Love” 10:42 p.m. ET – Christie uses a yarn about his mom’s teachings to say Americans need to find leaders it respects more than it loves. His speech is an argument against “our leaders” and not Democrats.
Christie Starts Speech with Bio – 10:38 – ABC’s Shush Walshe points out “this Mom-Dad riff in Christie speech is something he fits in at most of his town halls in NJ.” His deep respect for his mom and his principles.
New Jersey Republican, Springsteen Fan – 10:34 – Prep for Chris Christie with @LizHartfield’s Profile
And a video with a song from Dan Kloeffler:
Ann Romney’s Case – 10:32 p.m. ET - In a speech meant to reach out to women, Ann Romney declares, “This man will not fail! This man will not let us down.” Later she says, “You can trust Mitt!”
Ann Romney: Oprah – 10:17 p.m. ET – Declares at the top of her lungs, “I love you women!” and later “We’re too smart to understand that there aren’t easy answers, but we’re not dumb enough to think there aren’t better answers.”
Ann Romney Takes the Stage – 10:11 p.m. ET – Starts speech with word about hurricane. Emily Friedman reports that her sons Tagg, Craig and Ben are visible crying as Ann walks onto stage.
Romney’s Popularity Problem – 10:08 – From ABC’s Russell Goldman, writing about the convention and a new ABC News / Washington Post poll:
Republicans celebrated the nomination of Mitt Romney as their presidential candidate tonight with funny hats and a determination to defeat President Obama, but their Tampa party was marred by a new poll that found Romney to be the least popular major-party nominee since 1984.
Tonight’s nomination brought Romney into the home stretch of the long race to the White House and was a moment to be savored by the candidate and his party. Delegates danced in the aisles at the Tampa Bay Forum between speeches and cheered predictions that Romney was the next president of the United States.
But a new ABC News/Washington Post poll released this evening found that Romney has the lowest personal popularity of any major-party nominee in nearly 30 years.
Which Speaker Does Twitter Like? – It is surprising that Scott Walker, who seemed to get the best applause, ranks third. From Yahoo!’s Chris Wilson:
Here’s the Twitter ranking of volume for the speakers thus far:
Cathy McMorris Rodgers
Update from Wilson – 10:06 – “Ted Cruz now leads McDonnell, who’s in second. But the twitter volume doesn’t tell the whole story. Most of the tweets about McDonnell are making comments/jokes about ultrasound machines.”
More on this from Chris Suellentrop at Yahoo! News:
Artur Davis, A Man With a New Party – 9:51 p.m. ET - Our list of other political turncoats might surprise you. Michelle Bachmann. Hillary Clinton. See them here. Key Davis line: “This is the dawn before we remember who we are.”
He Had Nothing, But He Had Heart - 9:45 p.m. ET – Arletee Saenz reports: Texas U.S. Senate candidate Ted Cruz touted the story of his father, who emigrated to the United States from Cuba, as an example of the “love story of freedom.”
“It’s the story of my Dad, who was imprisoned and tortured in Cuba, beaten nearly to death. He fled to Texas in 1957, not speaking English, with $100 sewn into his underwear. He washed dishes making 50 cents an hour to pay his way through the University of Texas, and to start a small business in the oil and gas industry,” Cruz said.
Cruz, who was the only speaker so far to address the crowd without a podium standing before him, noted that his father was in the audience and spoke in Spanish about his father’s audacity to achieve the American dream.
“My father is here tonight. When he came to America, él no tenía nada, pero tenía corazón. He had nothing, but he had heart. A heart for freedom. Thank you, Dad,” Cruz said.
At the end of his speech, he led the crowd in chants of “Yes we can!”
@gstephanopoulos Tweets – 9:28 – “Nice Santorum line: “I shook the hand of the American Dream and it has a strong grip””
Is Obama Really Trying to Gut Welfare Reform? – 9:27 p.m. ET – A focus of Santorum’s speech has been the Obama administration’s potential move to grant waivers to the “welfare to work” portions of the the Clinton-era welfare reform law. Republican candidates have accused the president of trying to undo a bipartisan compromise. But it is more complicated than that. The waivers, by the way, were requested by Republican governors. Read our full fact check here.
Full Romney Clan in Tampa – 9:26 p.m. ET – ABC’s Emily Friedman reports: All 5 Romney sons are in the convention hall. Matt and Craig sitting three rows off the floor, Tagg, Ben and Josh and several children in the Romney Box . Family for deputy campaign manager Katie Gage also front and center.
Fore! Ohio Gov. John Kasich Accuses Biden of Lying About Golf – From Wolf / Saenz – In his address to the Republican National Convention tonight, Ohio Gov. John Kasich talked a lot about policy, about unions, about debt and surpluses and budget deficits. And then, at the end, he turned to a what seems to be a very personal subject among Ohio politicians and the current administration Kasich would like to be see voted out of office: Golf.
“Folks, let me tell you this – Joe Biden disputes a lot of those facts, but Joe Biden told me that he was a good golfer. And I’ve played golf with Joe Biden, I can tell you that’s not true, as well as all of the other things that he says,”Kasich said Tuesday at the Republican convention.
Say what? Golf, a little over a year ago, is what was supposed to bring Washington together. Remember the golf summit? That’s what Kasich was referring to. Joe Biden, Barack Obama, House Speaker John Boehner and Kasich, in the heat of a fight over how to extend a debt ceiling, played a round together.
Runner-Up Santorum Speaks While Rival Clinches Nomination – During the primary, Rick Santorum doled out some harsh attacks on Romney, even calling him the “worst Republican in the country” to run against President Obama. But as he takes the stage Tuesday evening, Santorum will lend his support to his once bitter rival and highlight Romney’s ability to lead the country while also harping on the president’s handling of welfare reform. ABC’s Michael Falcone has the details of Santorum’s speech that one source says “will tug at your heartstrings.”
@JonKarl Tweets – Rick Santorum’s 93-year-old mom watches his speech from the floor of the Republican convention.
‘Killing Us’ – Sen. Kelly Ayotte on the Obama Administration- 9:08 p.m. ET – ABC’s Michael Falcone reports:
In keeping with tonight’s theme of “We Built It,” New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte, who was said to be among those Romney was considering as a potential running mate, spoke of her husband’s efforts to establish his own landscaping and snowplowing company.
“We are no different from most families who take risks starting their own business,” she said, adding that President Obama was making it “very difficult for small businesses to get started – to create jobs – and to survive.”
She introduced one of several small business owners from around the country that the RNC is featuring throughout the night — Jack Gilchrist, owner of Gilchrist Metal Fabricating.”
Numerous speeches and videos tonight have used President Obama’s words as a line of attack: “You didn’t build that – somebody else made that happen.”
In his speech, Gilchrist said: “This Administration is killing us out here. Small business needs a leader. A leader who understands the entire spectrum of business and industry.”
The GOP Scavenger Hunt - ABC’s Amy Bingham details how the GOP convention has turned into a scavenger hunt of sorts, with quirky characters roaming around the convention floor and delegates wearing wacky accessories tailored to their home states – from Wisconsin delegates wearing cheesehead hats to the Texas delegation adopting a uniform of Texas flag button down shirts and cowboy hats.
‘Don’t Boo’ – Obama to Supporters on RNC -ABC’s Mary Bruce reports from Fort Collins, a stop on President Obama’s counter-programming college tour:
As Republicans began their first night of convention speakers, President Obama told supporters his opponents will put on an “entertaining” show in Tampa with lots of glitz, but little substance.
“The show in Tampa I’m sure will be very entertaining and I’m sure they’ll have wonderful things to say about me,” Obama jokingly said at Colorado State University. “It will be well-produced. You know, they’ve hired all kinds of fancy TV producers… The only problem is it won’t offer a path forward.”
The crowd of roughly 13,000 started to boo as the president mentioned the GOP convention.
“Don’t boo. Vote,” he replied, which brought cheers. “That’s the best response. Vote and get some of your friends to vote.”
Who Built What and How? – 8:20 p.m. ET Jack Gilchrist, a New Hampshire small business owner featured in one of Romney’s ads slamming President Obama over his “You Didn’t Build That” comment, took the stage at the convention to give testimony on how regulations are crippling small business owners and make the case for how Romney will help small businesses thrive.
But as ABC’s Jake Tapper noted last month, Gilchrist benefited from the help of government, receiving millions of dollars in government loans and contracts.
Flashback: Sammy Davis Jr. Endorses Richard Nixon in 1972 – 8:11 p.m. ET – We talk, on the live stream, to Sam Donaldson, who was there. We love this stock footage:
A Guy Walks Into a Bar… ‘Throw Him Out!’ – Boehner on Obama:
Isaac Makes Landfall – Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana at 7:45 p.m. ET
Presumptive No More, Mitt and Ann Dial In – 8:01 p.m. ET – ABC’s Emily Friedman tweets: @EmilyABC: Mitt and Ann eating room service, 2 hours before show time.
Much Love for Mia – 7:44 p.m. ET – Mia Love, the GOP’s African American Mormon House candidate from Utah, takes the stage and declares to Barack Obama, “We’re not buying what you’re selling in 2012.” Jon Karl interviewed Mia Love several months ago. Watch that here.
Audacious! – Primtime Speeches Start with Digs on Obama – Typically fiery speeches to kick off the evening session of the first full day of the Republican National Convention from House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and RNC Chairman Reince Preibues.
Boehner turned Obama’s own words against him, slamming his “audacity” to think he deserves a second term.
“Obama only offers excuses instead of answers,” Boehner said.
Priebus sounded a warning call: “If Barack Obama gets four more years it might be too late.”
He called on Republicans to rally around their now-official presidential nominee, Mitt Romney.
“This is our generation’s rendezvous with destiny,” the chairman said. “This is our generation’s time for choosing.”
Orrin Hatch Says He’s Not Writing Off Missouri Senate Race – 7:22 p.m. ET – “I’m not writing off that race” Orrin Hatch told ABC’s Amy Walter and David Chalian when asked about the state of the Missouri Senate race after Todd Akin’s controversial comments last week. Hatch said the GOP will have a tough road in taking back the majority, but he’s optimistic. “I think it’s going to be a tough time but hopefully we can’t take over the majority or have it really close” he said. (Elizabeth Hartfield)
Watch Out for Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin – 7:18 p.m. ET – Tim Philips, President of the Republican aligned outside group “Americans for Prosperity” told ABC’s Amy Walter and Yahoo!’s David Chalian to watch out for Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin this fall. “Watch those three states” Philips said on ABC/Yahoo!’s live stream broadcast of night 2 of the RNC. Philips also addressed the question of how outside spending groups are affecting the election. “Swing voters don’t care about process, they just don’t” Philips said. “They’re focused on the issues.” (Elizabeth Hartfield)
Obama Song Plays At GOP Convention – 7:05 p.m. ET As delegates waited for the evening’s lineup to begin, G.E. Smith and his band played Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered,” but there’s just one problem. Wonder’s hit is commonly played at President Obama’s campaign events, not Romney events.
Wonder himself sang “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” at Obama’s inaugural ball in 2009, and the president even has credited Wonder’s tunes for helping him snag Michelle as his wife.
Take a look at the Obama campaign’s official playlist to see if there are any other songs that pop up at the GOP convention.
Ann Romney Talks to Diane Sawyer – 5:42 p.m. ET – Here’s a first taste of Diane Sawyer’s interview with Ann Romney about having five boys, advice from her father and being humbled by her husband’s position. Full story here.
“It’s a settling in of the awesomeness of how many people are counting on us,” she said. “What I’m feeling and what I think is what Mitt is feeling as well… sort of a humility that is millions of people have put their trust in us and we don’t want to disappoint.”
Wives of Party Conventions – 5:41 p.m. ET – Potential first ladies have, through time, been convention energizers – See them all here.
Romney Clinches Nomination – 5:40 p.m. ET – 50 delegates from New Jersey put Mitt Romney over the top and clinch the Republican nomination for him and Paul Ryan. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie delivers the GOP keynote address in the 10 p.m. ET hour tonight.
Romney’s Brother Scott Casts Votes – 5:35 p.m. ET – The GOP nominee’s brother emotionally cast Michigan’s votes for the candidate “who happens to be my brother.”
GOP-LIST CELEBS - 5:34 p.m. ET – From Arlette Saenz: A few B (or maybe C-list) celebrities are getting some face time at the GOP confab in Tampa Tuesday night.
Janine Turner, a star of the 1990′s Alaska-inspired show Northern Exposure, will address the convention on Tuesday night. During the 2008 election, Turner campaigned with Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
GE Smith, the lead guitarist of Hall & Oates and musical director of Saturday Night Live, and his band, the GE Smith Band, will provide the house music between speakers at the convention.
And Three Doors Down will premiere a new song, “One Light,” between Ann Romney and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s speeches Tuesday night.
Call the Vote – Romney Officially Nominated – 5:05 p.m. ET – On the Republican convention floor, Mass. delegate Ron Kaufman formally nominated Romney to be president. Now they’ll call the vote. Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas… Missouri is expected to put him over the top.
Ron Paul’s Revolt – 5:03 p.m. ET – Ron Paul, who is still technically a presidential candidate until they nominate Romney later today, tells Neil Cavuto on Fox Business Network: “I am not intending to endorse anybody.”
Here’s video of his supporters booing on the convention floor:
Obama Tries to Rebrand ‘Obamacare’ as ‘Romney-Doesn’t-Care’ – 4:37 p.m. ET – Jake Tapper reports on the president’s counter-programming to the RNC:
President Obama coined a new nickname for a potential action by a hypothetical President Romney today, playing off the “Obamacare” nickname for health care legislation that his administration initially used, then rejected as pejorative, then re-claimed.
To a a crowd of roughly six thousand at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, the president today said, “It’s up to you whether we go back to a health care system that let insurance companies decide who to cover and when. Governor Romney promised that sometime between taking the oath of office and going to the inaugural ball, he’d sit right down, grab a pen and kick seven million young people off their parents’ plan by repealing health reform,” the president said, referring to Romney’s pledge in June to “act to repeal Obamacare” on his “first day if elected President of the United States.”
Seat Them Now! – 4:28 p.m. ET - Signs of disunity when officials at the Republican National Convention declined to seat members of the Maine delegation, which was split between supporters of Ron Paul and Mitt Romney. The convention floor was divided between chants of “Seat them now!” and “USA.”
Moments later, RNC Rules Committee Chairman John Sununu, a former New Hampshire Governor, and the Republican House Speaker, John Boehner, were met by cheers and boos as they announced and called a vote on a new set of rules. Read more about the controversy here.
Platform – Republican Platform Seeks to Ban All Abortions, Gay Marriage -4:20 p.m. – AP’s Alan Fram and Philip Eliot write up what the party actually supports this year:
Republicans emphatically approved a toughly worded party platform at their national convention Tuesday that would ban all abortions and gay marriages, reshape Medicare into a voucher-like program and cut taxes to energize the economy and create jobs.
The document opens by warning that while the American Dream has long been of equal opportunity for everyone, “Today that American Dream is at risk.” It pledges that the GOP will “begin anew, with profound changes in the way government operates; the way it budgets, taxes and regulates.”
Both parties routinely approve platforms at their conventions every four years, meant to encapsulate their principles and goals. Much of their details are customarily ignored when it comes to actually governing.
Even so, a poll by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center found more people interested in the GOP platform than in the upcoming acceptance speeches by presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his running mate, Paul Ryan. The survey found that 52 percent said they were interested in learning about the Republican platform, compared to 44 percent interested in Romney’s speech and 46 percent interested in Ryan’s.
Republicans Believe in Sher - 4:15 p.m. ET - Most people in the United States probably identify the singer Cher as the most popular woman with that first name. But soon, that could all change, ABC’s John Parkinson reports.
Tonight, Republicans believe one of their star candidates, Sher Valenzuela, will burst into the national spotlight when she delivers a primetime address during the Republican National Convention.
Valenzuela, who is running for lieutenant governor of Delaware, is a small businesswoman who runs an industrial upholstery facility that manufactures everything from padding for Major League Baseball umpires to bulletproof vests for the Israeli military and protective covering for the U.S. military’s Boeing’s V-22 Osprey.
The convention’s theme tonight, “We Built It,” has also attracted some criticism toward Valenzuela, whose business employs about 70 people, because it accepted federal loans and contracts. Valenzuela said that when she launched her business from her garage, she applied for a Small Business Administration-backed loan.
“I had to put my house on the line for that loan and, thankfully, I didn’t lose my house and, thankfully, I was able to create the jobs that I committed to provide,” she said. “It’s businesses versus big government. We don’t need big government. We need a more efficient, lean government, and that’s exactly the kind of government we intend to deliver.”
“It doesn’t matter if you have a D, or an I or an R after your name if you have a job – a J-O-B,” she added. “It really matters to people that they have an opportunity to contribute to their economy in a very meaningful way, and this is outside party lines. So we believe that these are the solutions that America is craving.”
Hit The Road Jack: Rep. Tim Scott, R-S.C., took the lyrics from “Hit the Road Jack” and sent a message to President Obama during his speech at the convention.
“Hit the Road Jack and don’t you come back. No more, no more, no more,” Scott said in a sing songy voice.
Scott dedicated this same song to Obama at a townhall last August while former Gov. Jon Hunstman, who was running for president at the time, played the piano. (Arlette Saenz)
Switcheroo – The RNC is looking to highlight some voters who backed Barack Obama in 2008 but now have switched to the GOP side with a new video that will air at the convention tonight.
Titled “Switchers,” The video features testimonials from three voters expressing their support for Romney over the president, despite voting for Obama in 2008.
“I voted for Barack Obama in 2008. I’m definitely voting for Mitt Romney in 2012,” one man says in the video.
And one high-profile “switcher” will be on display tonight. Rep. Artur Davis, who gave one of the seconding speeches to nominate Barack Obama at the Democratic convention in 2008 but has since turned to backing Romney, is set to speak just before the “Switchers” video airs. (Arlette Saenz)
Watch the RNC’s Switchers:
370,000 people in Tampa, 50,000 more for the convention, 12,000 balloons …
- 2:32 p.m. ET – The RNC by the numbers in one snappy infographic:
The Convention Gavels to Order for Tuesday – 2 p.m.
Let the Lowering of Expectations Begin – Yahoo! News’ Holly Bailey writes that Romney adviser Stuart Stevens sought to lower expectations for a post-convention bounce for the Romney campaign even as he argued that if the election were held today, Romney would win easily.
Speaking to reporters on board Romney’s plane en route to Tampa, Stuart Stevens, a senior Romney adviser, said factors like Hurricane Isaac and the “back-to-back” scheduling of the RNC and Democratic National Convention could potentially depress any convention bump for the GOP ticket.
“We’ve never come into a convention where another campaign has spent a half a billion dollars plus the outside groups,” Stevens said. “I just think all bets are off about any kind of past performance being a predictor of the future.”
Stevens’ comments come just weeks after a senior Romney adviser suggested Romney would see an 11-point bump out of the RNC. The adviser, who declined to be named, made the prediction just a day before Rep. Paul Ryan was named as Romney’s vice-presidential running mate. The adviser told reporters Romney would see a bounce from both his VP and the convention.
Ron Paul’s Minority Reporting for Duty – 1:58 p.m. ET – ABC’s Rick Klein notes Rep. Ron Paul is roaming around the convention floor, prompting Paul supporters to chant “Ron Paul, Ron Paul” and “Let him speak,” amid chants from Romney supporters in the crowd repeating, “Romney, Romney.”
ABC’s Aaron Katersky says Paul was wearing a red and white blue lei, waved to people in the stands, and signed autographs for supporters. Supporters also chanted “Seat them now,” referencing the Paul’s delegates who were struggling for recognition at the convention.
Barbour, Drink in Hand: Obama’s a ‘One Percenter’, Romney ‘Not as Conservative as I am’ – 1:50 p.m. ET – Yahoo!’s Chris Moody noticed a great Youtube video of former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour:
“We’ve got two guys running for president, by the way, who are both very rich. Each one of them is in the top one percent in the United States.” Barbour said during an event for the National Bloggers Club in Tampa. “Both of them are one percenters. And in fairness, both of them made their own money. Romney made his by winning the confidence of people who invested their money. …Obama made his money writing two books about himself. He’s a one percenter!…Which one do you figure is going to do a better job of getting our economy going in the right direction?”
“Mitt Romney’s not as conservative as I am. It’s a fact,” Barbour said. “But the difference between him and Obama in terms of their vision, their plan, their policies, their belief in the history and the fundamental principles of America are the greatest difference of any two presidential candidates in my lifetime. …It behooves us to make sure Romney wins.”
Palin Stirs the Pot Over Rules – Former VP candidate opposes controversial rule change, reports ABC’s Chris Good from Tampa. She called a compromise a “direct attack on grassroots activists.” Good’s report is here:
Some Republican National Committee members were up in arms Monday about a proposed rule that would weaken states’ control of who gets to attend future national conventions as voting delegates. While primaries typically determine how many delegate votes candidates will receive, states typically meet later to fill out those delegate rosters. A new rule would allow presidential candidates to veto those choices.
Republican National Committeeman Jim Bopp, who had led the movement against the rule, reached a compromise with other RNC members Monday, but some of his fellow partisans have rejected it, according to internal emails obtained by ABC News.
Fanning the flames, Sarah Palin posted to her Facebook page urging Republican National Committee members to revolt against the proposed rule, which was supported by backers of presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
Power Breakfast with Romney Power Players – ABC’s Jonathan Karl and Yahoo!’s David Chalian sat down this morning for a live streamed panel discussion with Romney’s top communications adviser Eric Fehrnstrom and the leader of his running mate search team Beth Meyers.
Breitbart to be Honored at RNC – He was a controversial figure and didn’t see eye to eye with the Republican establishment, but the party will honor firebrand and media magnate Andrew Breitbart, according to Yahoo!’s Chris Moody.
The Republican National Convention will pay tribute to Andrew Breitbart, the late conservative activist and publisher who died in March due to heart failure.
Breitbart will be included in a moment of remembrance honoring Republicans who have died since the 2008 convention, the RNC announced Tuesday.
Bobby Jindal Not Happy With Obama’s Disaster Relief – 1:10 p.m. ET – Here are two tweets from the Louisiana Gov, who is skipping the GOP convention to oversea reaction in his state to the hurricane.
- @bobbyjindal: Yesterday the President granted a limited disaster declaration for the state that provides for direct federal assistance.
- @bobbyjindal: However, the limited declaration does not provide for reimbursement of expenses that the state is taking to prepare for the storm.
Isaac Update – FEMA’s Craig Fugate Respondse – 2:11 p.m. ET – From ABC’s Matt Larotonda – During a conference call, Fugate briefly addressed Governor Jindal’s concerns that the limited disaster declaration signed by President Obama would not reimburse the state for its own expenses regarding Isaac. The FEMA director says his agency is more concerned with the immediate storm danger and will address fiscal issues afterwards.
”That’s a reimbursement program that will come after the fact, and we felt it was more important to get the first part of the request out, the ability to provide direct federal assistance, and then as the storm impacts we can assess that to determine the level of impact and assistance required,” he said “The financial reimbursement piece would occur after the storm. We wanted to make sure we got the direct federal assistance made available to the governor so anything on the life safety aspect, we would be able to provide that assistance.”
Obama’s Isaac Message Won’t Stop College Tour – 12:42 p.m. ET – Here’s what President Obama said earlier about Isaac during a quick announcement in Washington before heading to a college tour that starts in Iowa.
“I want to encourage all residents of the Gulf Coast to listen to your local officials and follow their directions, including if they tell you to evacuate. We’re dealing with a big storm and there could be significant flooding and other damage across a large area,” he said.
As he finished, Obama ignored a question about whether it’s appropriate to continue campaigning in light of the impending storm. Shortly after the statement he boarded Marine One on his way to a two-day, three-city campaign swing that will include stops in the critical election states of Iowa, Colorado and Virginia.
@DianeSawyer: @AnnDRomney on best advice from her dad: Live your life. – 12:36
‘Heartfelt’ – 12:30 – Ann Romney describes speech to reporters, including ABC’s David Muir.
“You will see that my speech is heartfelt. A lot of you have been covering me long enough that you know I haven’t gone off of a written text so this is a unique experience for me. No one has ever written a speech for me,” Mrs. Romney said. More here.
How Ann Romney Learned to Love Politics – 12:28 p.m. ET - a Yahoo! News profile from Liz Goodwin
Sawyer Interviewing Ann Romney – 12:26 p.m. ET – CSPAN is showing a shot on the convention floor of Diane Sawyer doing a walking interview of Ann Romney. Watch World News for that one tonight.
Jack Abramoff’s Continued Mea Culpa – 12:20 p.m. ET - Former super lobbyist who went to jail tells ABC Investigative unit about the “greatest corruption of congress.” And the conventions, he says, are like a ground zero. “99 percent of the money are special interests. They’re people who want something back.”
#Hashout from Yahoo! – 12:18 p.m. ET – What 5 Words Should Romney Say? - Baratunde Thursday of Yahoo! asks people on the convention floor what five words they want to hear Mitt Romney say.
A sampling: “I will bring troops home.”
“Economic, economics, economics, economics, economics.” (not disqualified even though it was, as Baratunde points out, one word five times) – @cjjones
“Audit the FED now, dude.” – @charliealigaen
And @rickklein’s suggestion: “Jobs, Freedom, Liberty, Dad, and also Jobs”
@grovernorquist could not be hemmed in to five.
A Thursday Mystery – Who Warms up for Rubio? 11:22 a.m. ET – ABC’s Arlette Saenz reports:
Top Romney advisors claim they have been left in the dark about a mystery speaker who may address the convention on Thursday night.
“I do not know. I’m intrigued,” Eric Fehrnstrom, a senior advisor to Romney, told ABC News’ Jonathan Karl and Yahoo! News David Chalian amid laughter at the ABC News/Yahoo! News breakfast in Tampa Monday morning. “I had not heard that that there was going to be a mystery speaker, no.”
Other top members of Romney’s team – senior advisor Beth Myers, director of advertising Ashley O’Connor, and pollster Neil Newhouse – also claimed ignorance about a surprise guest speaking Thursday evening.
The latest schedule released by the Republican National Convention Monday lists a “To Be Announced” speaker slated to speak just before Sen. Marco Rubio and the presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney. A number of Olympians, including Michael Eruzione, Derek Parra, and Kim Rhode, and senior advisor Bob White are expected to speak Thursday evening.
Mitt Romney is Wheels Down in Tampa – 11:09 a.m. ET – That comes from ABC’s Emily Friedman.
The Primetime Line-up for Tuesday –
7:00 p.m. Hour - Remarks by Speaker John Boehner
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus
Video and remarks by Mayor Mia Love (Saratoga Springs, UT), U.S. congressional candidate
Remarks by Janine Turner
Remarks by former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum
Remarks by Host, U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers
8:00 p.m. Hour - Remarks by U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte (NH), accompanied by Jack Gilchrist
Remarks by Governor John Kasich (OH)
Remarks by Governor Mary Fallin (OK)
Remarks by Governor Bob McDonnell (VA), accompanied by Bev Gray
Remarks by Governor Scott Walker (WI)
9:00 p.m. Hour – Remarks by Governor Brian Sandoval (NV)
Remarks by Sher Valenzuela (small business owner, candidate for DE Lt. Governor)
Remarks by Senate Republican Candidate Ted Cruz (TX)
Remarks by Artur Davis
Remarks by Governor Nikki Haley (SC)
10:00 p.m. Hour - Remarks by Mrs. Luce’ Vela Fortuño
Remarks by Mrs. Ann Romney
Remarks by Governor Chris Christie (NJ)
Benediction by Sammy Rodriguez
Isaac Split Screen – 8:00 a.m. ET – Today’s political wrap-up from ABC’s Michael Falcone and Amy Walter focused on how Republicans will try to rally their base while keeping a mindful eye on the Hurricane that has veered west, but gathered strength. President Obama, meanwhile, is headed to Iowa to start a college tour. Read the full Note, “Republicans Brace for a Split Screen Convention.”
Christie’s Advice for Romney – Open Up – 7:15 a.m. ET -The convention tonight will include keynote speaker New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who has become a force in the party after his election in 2009. He was an oft-mentioned potential running mate and an oft-mentioned future candidate for president.
The Guv talked this morning to George Stephanopoulos on GMA. Here’s part of George’s report on their conversation:
Christie had a tip for Mitt Romney when he takes the stage Thursday: open up to the American people.
“I’ve always said this George…Mitt Romney is going to have to win this campaign. And to do that over the next 70 days he’s going to have to let the American people see who he is, put out a bold vision for the future. Remember, he’s a challenger…Challengers always get a late look,” he said.
Over the weekend Mitt Romney repeated the famous Popeye quote “I am who I am” in several interviews, implying that perhaps he wouldn’t show more of his personal side this week.
Christie disagrees, and credits Rep. Paul Ryan for already bringing out a new side of the presidential candidate.
“I think you’ve seen [Romney] show a lot more of himself even since Paul Ryan has joined the ticket. I think Paul has brought energy to the ticket and he’s brought great energy to Governor Romney after a long and arduous campaign. So I think that the American people are going to see a lot more of him and they’re going to start seeing it tonight with Mrs. Romney,” he said. “Who no one can speak better or more articulately about the man that Mitt Romney is and the leader he’d be for our country than Ann Romney so I think the fun starts tonight, George, and I think the American people are going to start to get a complete picture about who Mitt Romney is and why he’d be a great president.”
Nightline Rewind - A Republican Convention, Hold the Pizza Guy Herman Cain - If you missed Nightline – Terry Moran talked politics with Cynthia McFadden. “Mitt Romney has got to give Americans a fix on who he is.” He had the best look at the official convention and got a tour from Herman Cain. Terry also roamed the convention floor to talk to Ron Paul supporters, including Linda Bean. That’s L. Bean. As in the granddaughter of L.L. Bean.
“One of the Great Mojitos of My Life” – Diane Sawyer Talks Mojitos, Visiting Tampa, with David Chalian and Amy Walter on Monday’s live stream: