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Romney’s Tampa Bay offensive delayed

world Updated: Aug 27, 2012 01:43 IST
Yashwant Raj
Yashwant Raj
Hindustan Times
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It was to be a week when presumptive Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was likely to pitch himself to American voters as a likable man, who can be trusted.

Hurricane Isaac, which is expected to hit Florida Monday, has already robbed him off one day with organizers of the Republican convention in Tampa canceling the first day.

"Our first priority is ensuring the safety of delegates, alternates, guests, members of the media attending the Republican National Convention, and citizens of the Tampa Bay area," Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, said in a statement.

The convention will open on Monday but go into recess immediately. It will resume tuesday afternoon, with no word yet on whether first day speakers will get another chance.

Among them was South Carolina governor Nikki Haley, an Indian American, and former governor Jeb Bush, former president George W Bush’s younger brother. While the stated purpose of the convention -- any presidential convention -- is to officially name the party’s candidate, Romney was expecting to use it to push his likability.

Romney has trailed President Obama in every likability poll though he has consistently polled higher on ability to improve the economy, clearly the single most electoral issue.

“The Republicans in Tampa will spend their energy and focus on trying to introduce Romney to voters who don’t know him and reintroduce him to those who may not like him,” said Peter Brown of Quinnipiac University polling institute.

“It means they’re going to try to humanize him. They’re going to talk about his business successes in the context of his life and his being a warm human being,” he added.

Romney campaign has astarted that effort with sympathetic conservative-leaning media such as The Wall Street Journal and Fox News devoting considerable space and time to show Romney as a warm, family man over the past week.