Members of the California delegation to the Republican Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota responded to Senator John McCain’s request to limit convention activities the first day as Hurricane Gustav threatens the Southeastern United States. McCain wanted the focus to be on the potential natural disaster the hurricane might cause in the Gulf States, and declared that conventioneers should take their “Republican hats off and put their American hats on.”

Public Opinion Strategies pollster and GOP delegate Steve Kinney said, “This is what should happen. This is the John McCain we know. He would never put something over the interest of the country.”

Board of Equalization Member Michelle Steel understood the Senator’s motives but also emphasized that the business of the convention must go forward.

Congressman Dan Lungren said he had confidence that those running the convention would make good decisions, but he also said the Republicans had to present the party’s candidates and ideas to the American people.

Chuck Bell, the attorney for the California Republican Party, suggested that the convention hear by satellite from the five governors in the states threatened by the hurricane. The governors of Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi and Texas could be seen in control, making executive decisions and keep the delegates informed of the circumstances from their states. Bell noted that the governors from all five states were Republicans.

He also pointed out that another Republican governor is set to accept the nomination for vice-president. Governors are decision makers, Bell said, and the American people will take notice.