UPDATE: Gustav Stops Bush And Cheney From Attending Convention

President Bush and Vice President Cheney will not attend the Republican convention in Minnesota as scheduled Monday because of concerns about Hurricane Gustav, the White House said Sunday.

After visiting the Federal Emergency Management Agency's operations center, the president is expected to make a statement Sunday about the storms. He began the day by biking at the Secret Service's training center in Beltsville, Md.

The convention schedule had Bush as the featured speaker before delegates in St. Paul, Minn., late on the opening night.

Bush may actually travel to the Gulf Coast at some point and perhaps speak to the GOP convention by video.

GOP presidential candidate John McCain, along with his wife, Cindy, and running mate Sarah Palin intended to travel to Jackson, Miss., on Sunday at the invitation of Gov. Haley Barbour because of concerns about people threatened by the storm. They were to receive a briefing at the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency - a permanent operations center monitoring hurricane response.

Ahead of the storm, Bush pre-emptively declared states of emergency for Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi and Alabama. The declaration clears the way for federal aid to supplement state and local efforts and formalizes coordination. His administration did the same before Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005, when the federal response was severely criticized.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and Federal Emergency Management Agency chief David Paulison have visited the region to monitor developments; Chertoff was returning there Sunday. Equipment and people were put in position and safe shelters readied, with cots, blankets and hygiene kits en route.

Bush aides said in the run-up to the convention that the president intended to spend most of his speech on McCain, discussing the requirements of the presidency and how he believes McCain fills them all. Bush was not expected to reflect that much on his two terms or target the Democratic nominee, Barack Obama.

With New Orleans' mandatory evacuation getting under way Sunday morning, internal government briefing documents obtained by The Associated Press on Sunday said Louisiana was short 750 buses needed for evacuation.

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  • by Steve Location: Kinston on Sep 1, 2008 at 08:46 PM
    TO Go Obama---need I remind you that the Democratic controlled congress has a lower approval rating that Bush? As for Bill in Southern Pitt--how do you know what kind of sandwich Bin Laden is eating? He is afraid to raise his chicken head above the horizon due to the fact that there is a cruise missile with his name on it waiting for him to make such a mistake. I only hope that whoever in President in 2009 will have the sensibiltiy to keep the heat on this piece of vermin.
  • by Mike Location: Edenton on Sep 1, 2008 at 02:52 AM
    Seeing as Mr. Bush has a popularity problem even within his own party this may be a blessing in disguise, for the Reps not the people of the Gulf Coast. The Dems keep trying to pin a Bush-clone tag on McCain (their best hope for winning) but nothing could be farther from the truth. Even the Dems have called him a maverick who often bucks his party's line. Now how does that wash with being a Bush clone? Dems can't have it both ways. Wake up and smell the coffee! The only REAL REFORM (change we can believe in) is the track record and message of McCain/Palin!
  • by Bill Location: Southern Pitt County on Aug 31, 2008 at 08:39 PM
    WOLFGANG (all capitalized, no less): Have the Republicans blamed the fact that bin-laden is, this very evening, eatin' a fried-chick pea sammich while we're seriously in-debt due to a fiasco called Iraq, yet? Yeah, the republicans talk like fiscal virtous angels, while spending like-a spoiled chicken-hawk frat boy on a drinking binge while in a strip parlor on a Saturday night. If you really believe that the sunni/shiite/kurd factions in some sand-pit in the ME ain't gonna come to bloody fisticuffs when we leave, then I'll retire, early, and with joy , to the fantasy world that you inhabit.
  • by WOLFGANG Location: CHOCOWINITY on Aug 31, 2008 at 06:30 PM
    I have a ? Did the Democrates blame Hurricane Gustav on the Republicans yet?
  • by Chris Location: Greenville on Aug 31, 2008 at 04:33 PM
    D if you do, D if you don't...everyone has learned from Katrina including wonderful mayor Nagin. I did notice that they have a new governor, a Republican. Finally some common sense.
  • by Go Obama on Aug 31, 2008 at 01:56 PM
    Bush has spoken like a true idiot for the past 7 1/2 years. I can't stand the thought of the american people hearing him at the GOP convention. Mc Cain will loose anyway, and having Bush and Cheney there, will add 2 shameful and embarrassing representives of our country. McCain, you are better off without them.
  • by So What? on Aug 31, 2008 at 01:52 PM
    I respect McCain, but he is going to have a hard time anyway at the convention. He seems in disbelief that he is the GOP candidate, and looks very unsure of himself as well as with his new VP pick.
  • by big whoop on Aug 31, 2008 at 01:49 PM
    Bush and Cheney need to do some honest work for the first time in 8 years,,,go down to New Orleans and help the Army Corp of engineers finish shoveling sand in the levees. Maybee if we are lucky, B and C will get stuck down there and have to suffer like all stranded 3 years ago.
  • by TRUCKER Location: NC on Aug 31, 2008 at 10:12 AM
    NOW NOW Bush taught McBush everything he knows.
  • by TRUCKER Location: NC on Aug 31, 2008 at 10:09 AM
    Why he never did anything about Katrina?
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