TAMPA, FL - Some 50,000 Republicans have descended upon Tampa
for the Republican National Convention,
the activities of which were delayed until Tuesday due to the
effects of Tropical Storm Isaac. Going into the four-day meeting,
presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney is virtually tired with Barrack
Obama in most national polls.
Many conservative commentators believe it is critical that the
former Massachusetts governor come off as a strong, but personable
leader. A barrage of negative ads have would-be voters longing to
meet the man who would share in a conversation in their living room
opposed to the business shark image used to define Mitt Romney.
Scott Wheeler, executive director of The
National Republican Trust PAC, spoke with OneNewsNow. "It
really gives the Republican candidate a chance to showcase his
plans and his personality, for that matter, because so much of the
elections today are directly related to people's personalities," he
Wheeler predicts Republicans will come together in Tampa in a
hunger to unseat President Obama from the White House. "Now is the
time for unification of the Republican Party," says Wheeler. "Obama
has so effectively polarized the nation that Republicans are, as a
necessity, going to unite with one another.
Those close to Romney contend his wife, Ann, will talk about her
husband's commitment to family and his support during her battle
with multiple sclerosis. Ann Romney is scheduled to speak in
prime-time Tuesday evening.
Celebration of faith, freedom
In spite of Tropical Storm Isaac knocking on Tampa's door
Sunday, a pre-convention rally proceeded as planned. Ralph Reed's
Freedom Coalition featured a "who's who" of conservative rock
stars who spoke at a celebration to kick-off of the 2012 Republican
National Convention week at a packed Tampa Theatre.
National and statewide conservative leaders energized a crowd
hopeful for a change in the White House in November -- including
former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, U.S. Senate candidate Ted Cruz
of Texas, conservative matriarch Phyllis Schlafly, Florida Gov.
Rick Scott, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, former Arkansas
Gov. Mike Huckabee, and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.
Jacquelyn Skaf, a delegate from Hawaii and member the RNC Rules
Committee, said faith is at the heart of the Republican Party. "The
principles that we rally together to celebrate today, to defend
today, [are] the very center of who we are as Republicans," she
Skaf shared that she is thankful for the strong faith and
principled convictions found in many of the Party's leaders. "I'm
just so happy to see all these warriors and leaders and my heroes
of the conservative movement," she offered.
As anticipated, liberal demonstrators representing various
causes gathered downtown as delegates arrived in Tampa Sunday for
the National Republican Convention. Organizers say they anticipate
some 5,000 to 10,000 protestors throughout the convention, but
concede storm conditions from Isaac could hinder their numbers.
About a 1,000 Occupy Wall Street style-protestors waved signs
ranging from "Mitt Romney doesn't support families" to "We are the
99 percent." The demonstrators marched in downtown Tampa in a
designated parade route.
At another event, what was primarily a friendly conservative
crowd, seven liberal protestors interrupted Wisconsin Gov. Scott
Walker's speech during a rally sponsored by the Faith & Freedom
Coalition Sunday. Secretly staged throughout the Tampa Theatre,
they jumped up to protest Walker, who soundly won a recall vote in
Wisconsin this summer. Sheriff's deputies quickly apprehended the
"You know, people should be able to say whatever they want. I
think it was probably in bad taste; I don't know what it was. But
we'll survive that," stated Tampa resident and Republican delegate
Hawaii delegate Jacquelyn Skaf had a better view than Cooper.
She said she was shocked with the outburst.
"They were [seated] in front of us, and they clapped along and
smiled at all the right places. I thought they were part of the
group," she explained. "And then Scott Walker gets up and suddenly
they're throwing their banners over the railing with zip ties and
flipping him off and shouting at him. I just thought it was very
inappropriate. They can have their voices heard -- I do believe in
free speech -- but not in a destructive manner."
It is thought that liberal billionaire George Soros has worked
behind the scenes, funding efforts through the ACLU to restrict law
enforcement in its attempt to keep law and order during the
Republican National Convention.
Tampa police will hand out a guide with tips for protesters
during the Republican National Convention. According to the Tampa
Bay Times, the guide lists banned items, gives advice on avoiding
heat-related illnesses, and provides phone numbers for the RNC call
center, the Hillsborough County jail, and the America Civil Liberty