Bush to skip Republican convention to monitor Gustav

Monday, September 1, 2008

Bush during the statement to the press in which he said he would not attend the Republican convention
Image: Chris Greenberg.

George W. Bush, the President of the United States, has said that he will not attend the 2008 Republican National Convention as a result of Hurricane Gustav.

During a statement made to the press, Bush told reporters: "In light of these events, I will not be going to Minnesota for the Republican National Convention,". He continued saying: "I'm going to travel down to Texas tomorrow to visit with the Emergency Operations Center in Austin, where coordination among federal, state, and local government officials is occurring."

A satellite image of Hurricane Gustav
Image: NASA.

"I intend to go down to San Antonio where state and local officials are prepositioning relief materials for Texas and Louisiana, and I'll have a chance to visit with residents of both states who have been evacuated."

Rick Davis, campaign manager for John McCain 2008, also tried to explain the reasons for the change of the schedule saying that "we [John McCain 2008 and the Republican Party] are deeply concerned about the safety and welfare of the residents of the Gulf State region. Our top priority is to assist those who will be affected by Hurricane Gustav. This is not a time for politics or celebration; it is a time for us to come together as Americans and assist the residents of the Gulf States."

During the press statement in which Mr. Bush announced that he would not attend the conference, he also commented on the dangers of the hurricane. "The message to the people of the Gulf Coast is, this storm is dangerous. There's a real possibility of flooding, storm surge, and high winds. Therefore, it is very important for you to follow the instructions and direction of state and local officials. Do not put yourself in harm's way, or make rescue workers take unnecessary risks. And know that the American people stand with you. We'll face this emergency together."

Ray Nagin, the mayor of New Orleans, Louisiana yesterday ordered a mandatory evacuation of the city ahead of Hurricane Gustav. Nagin stated that residents "need to be scared" in what he calls "the mother of all storms".