TAMPA, Fla. -- With Hurricane Isaac moving west of Tampa, Republican convention organizers said tonight they are “full speed” ahead with the next three days of events.
“We expect no change over the next three days,” said Russ Schriefer, a Romney adviser, on a conference call with reporters. “We are full speed planning ahead with our Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday schedule.”
Schriefer, however, said the campaign is monitoring the storm’s path closely and are leaving open the possibility of more changes.
“Our thoughts are with the people in the path of the storm,” Schriefer said. “We hope they are spared any major destruction."
Tuesday’s events will begin at 2:00 pm ET with convention business, then the roll call, and nomination of the vice-presidential candidate.
Tuesday night will be highlighted by the keynote speech of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Ann Romney, the wife of presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney. Both will speak in the prime-time broadcast televised hour between 10:00 pm ET and 11:00 pm ET. They will be the only speakers in that window.
But Schriefer also pointed, in particular, to former Sen. Rick Santorum’s speech earlier in the evening. The former Pennsylvania senator is expected to focus his speech on “work,” and possibly hit on welfare.
Santorum’s speech is “going to be particularly good,” said Schriefer, who noted that he had read both Santorum’s and Christie’s speeches. Santorum will stress his family upbringing, being a son of immigrants and “how work is such an important part of the tradition of this country,” Schriefer said, stressing that Santorum was a “leader in the fight to reform welfare in 90s,” and that he “believes strongly in dignity of work.”
“It’s going to be very good,” Schriefer said.
Schriefer also addressed the potential controversy with Ron Paul delegates. Paul said yesterday he wouldn’t “fully endorse” Romney and his delegates gamed many of the rules at state conventions to get an outsized delegation on the floor of the convention.
“In terms of disunity, we are a big party,” Schriefer said. “We have people with different opposing viewpoints. I don’t think this a particularly divisive point of view people are divided on. We are all united in defeating Barack Obama. I guarantee that, on Thursday, we’ll be 100 percent united behind Mitt Romney and defeating Barack Obama for the good of the country.”