RNC in Tampa Has Bumps Along The Way

Aug 31, 2012

The Republican National Convention wrapped things up with Mitt Romney accepting the Republican nomination as planned. But the convention as a whole went off with more than its fair share of stops, starts, and interruptions.  

Convention got interrupted before it began with what turned into Hurricane Isaac forcing officials to cancel the first day of convention events. The storm only skirted the convention area, but in an abundance of caution, officials reshuffled speaker schedules. Florida Governor Rick Scott was supposed to speak Monday, but in the end the governor opted out of speaking all together.

“I was honored to be able to have the opportunity to speak on behalf of the state and talk about all the great things that are happening in our state, but the most important thing right now is to be able to keep everybody that lives in our state, everybody that’s visiting our state safe,” Scott said

And Isaac wasn’t the only interruption. U.S. Senator Marco Rubio addressed the Florida delegation early in the week, talking about the importance of the state’s support and getting to the polls. 

But, it wasn’t long before Rubio, who thought he was speaking to a friendly Republican crowd was interrupted.  

Republican convention goers drowned out the protester out with boos and chants. The man was escorted out. Rubio got re-started and was interrupted again, this time by a woman. The senator was interrupted a total of four times at the breakfast by members of a group called Stand Up Florida. Officers gave the protesters trespassing warnings and escorted them from the area.  But Rubio took the comments in stride, laughing them off, saying one of the protesters must not have been happy with the hotel choice either.

And the hotel where Florida’s delegation stayed created its own set of problems.

“We held our primary early against RNC rules so they penalized us. One of the penalties, they would say that they didn’t put us this far out as a result of our early primary. That’s probably non-sense, but it doesn’t matter. The resort here, the people have treated us really well. The only thing painful is the bus ride. It’s a long bus ride for our delegates," Republican Party of Florida Chairman Lenny Curry said.

The distance from the hotel to the convention site seems to be causing its share of trouble too.  Because of the distance, Florida delegates have to take two buses to get to the convention area. Delegate Susie Wiles said  taking two buses wasn't a problem, unless the first bus didn't show up.

Wiles said because of the bus confusion the Florida delegates almost missed the vote to nominate Mitt Romney as the Republican candidate. She said they made it with just minutes to spare before the 2:00 roll call. Overall, despite some bumps along the way, officials call the convention a success.