Bush, Cheney to Skip Convention

Posted August 31, 2008 at 10:49am

Updated 12:28 p.m.

Neither President Bush nor Vice President Cheney will attend the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn., on Monday as previously scheduled.

Both are planning to stay in Washington, D.C., to monitor Hurricane Gustav, which is bearing down on New Orleans and other parts of the Gulf Coast.

Convention officials are on the verge of announcing a major scheduling change to the convention – at least for the first day.

The GOP fears that moving forward as scheduled with the political hoopla that accompanies such conventions would be a political disaster for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who are set this week to formally accept their party’s nominations for president and vice president.

In an interview on CNN, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said changes would be announced to the convention in a few hours.

“It’s going to be a serious natural disaster, and I think people ought to be sensitive about it, especially John McCain. … Putting the country first is the right thing to do.”

McCain, meanwhile, is heading to Mississippi to look at storm preparations.