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McCain: Further delays to GOP convention 'could be harmful'

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., says Republican presidential candidate has been outspent by the Obama campaign and Romney needs to turn the tide and focus on women and minorities with the message


TAMPA, Fla. – Arizona Sen. John McCain expressed concern Sunday that further weather-related cancellations of the Republican National Convention here could deprive the GOP of an opportunity to make its case to voters.

Speaking Sunday on “Meet the Press,” the 2008 Republican presidential nominee said that the decision by convention organizers to effectively cancel Monday’s session due to the effects of the impending Hurricane Isaac wouldn’t have much harm on Republicans.

Jacquelyn Martin / AP

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. attends a news conference about the Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Thursday, July 12, 2012, on Capitol Hill.

“It's Wednesday, Thursday night that are the big moments,” he said. “It's not that we don't want that first night, but I don't think it will be harmful if we lose the first night.”

But, the veteran senator added: “It could be harmful if we lose more than that.”

Recommended: Hurricane impending, Republicans cancel first day of convention

Republicans announced on Saturday that they had decided to delay the beginning of the convention until Tuesday; the impending storm threatens logistics and safety problems that made it unfeasible to convene for Monday’s activities.

But convention organizers haven’t yet released the revised schedule, and haven’t officially foreclosed the possibility of further weather-related changes to the schedule bleeding into Tuesday.

Related: GOP elders describe high stakes for Romney in Tampa

As things stand, Ann Romney and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie are scheduled to be featured speakers on Tuesday evening. Mitt Romney won’t speak until Thursday, though the formal roll call vote to nominate him for president is currently scheduled for Tuesday.