Nightly News | August 27, 2012
>>> now to the event that brought us here, the republican convention . mitt romney 's biggest opportunity yet to tell his story, reintroduce himself to the american public, after this long campaign season, and make his case, one final time. then of course along comes this storm, some of the best laid plans for this gathering had to go right out the window. our political director chief white house correspondent chuck todd with us in tampa. chuck, good evening.
>> reporter: good evening, brian. the biggest week in mitt romney 's political career is obviously getting off to a late start and while confident they can make a shortened convention work, organizers fear that if the storm causes more damage, it could cause further delays to their best laid political plans. with the bang of the gavel and a nearly empty hall, republicans began and then quickly ended business.
>> republican national convention stands in recess.
>> reporter: as mitt romney prepared for his big night with one eye on isaac.
>> our thoughts are with the people in the storm's path and hope they're spared any major destruction.
>> reporter: in wisconsin, paul ryan held a raucous rally at his hometown high school in janesville.
>> the next president for a few years, we are picking the pathway for america for a generation.
>> reporter: still, isaac, not romney nor ryan, was the focus today. the louisiana delegation's empty chairs a symbolic reminder. their state's republican star and governor will be a tampa no show.
>> certainly party conventions are interesting but there is no time for politics here in louisiana along our coast.
>> reporter: one staple of political conventions did remain today. wild rumors and political gossip, raising eyebrows this morning, a "new york post" report claiming tomorrow's keynote speaker , new jersey governor chris christie is quietly whispering to insiders romney 's going to lose, something he denied in an interview for " morning joe ."
>> completely shoddy reporting. much of what was said in the story wasn't true and they never talked to me.
>> reporter: flying in the face of the christie rumor a slew of polls indicating a close race. the tightness only underscores the importance of this convention for romney , as he debates how to reintroduce himself to the american public.
>> all i can do is be who i am and remember that popeye line, i am what i am and that's all that i am.
>> reporter: both he and his wife ann are trying to show they aren't the caricature in the ads.
>> she also got me one of the three-pack of shirts from costco.
>> the kirkland shirts he's wearing them all the time. hey that shirt looks pretty good. i got it at costco.
>> reporter: tonight's featured speaker speaker s mike huckabbe will be tuesday, wednesday and thursday.