Republicans Hope to Get RNC Back on Track

September 2, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Republican Party leaders are hoping to steer the convention back in the direction of speechmaking and sign-waving Tuesday. With Gustav weakening, it's looking more and more like Senator John McCain will accept the party's nomination at the convention later this week.

With an amended schedule because of Hurricane Gustav on the first day of the Republican National Convention, GOP leaders are trying to get back on track Tuesday. After missing his scheduled speech Monday night because of the storm President Bush will address the convention Tuesday night by satellite.

Monday, delegates worked on official business for just two hours. Instead of a prime time speech, First Lady Laura Bush and Cindy McCain appealed to the gathered GOP to help with hurricane relief efforts. "Together we can accomplish so much to help those who have been affected," said Cindy McCain.

Controversy is already part of this convention. On Monday, a surprise statement by presumptive vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin: her 17-year-old daughter Bristol is five-months pregnant and plans to marry the teenage father. "We're proud of Bristol's decision to have her baby and even prouder to become grandparents," the Palin's said. "As Bristol faces the responsibilities of adulthood, she knows she has our unconditional love and support."

The McCain campaign cited wild internet rumors as the reason to disclose the information now. The rumors suggested Bristol Palin was actually baby Trig's mother; not Sarah Palin. "The Palin's have been the target of many vicious and cruel attacks on the web, and we felt it was important to get out today and set the record straight," said McCain Campaign Spokesperson Jill Hazelbaker.

Governor Palin and John McCain have no scheduled public events on Tuesday. Palin was originally scheduled to speak at the RNC Tuesday night before she became McCain's running mate.