Monday, August 27, 2012

Mitch Perry Report 8.27.12 - Convention may not officially begin today, but the RNC is definitely ON

Posted By on Mon, Aug 27, 2012 at 6:30 AM

Although people in Tampa awoke Monday morning to heavy rains, Tropical Storm Isaac's path is far east of the area. But related concerns compelled Republican National Committee members on Saturday evening to cancel today's first official day of events, reducing the convention to just three days (the Democrats earlier this year announced they were reducing their schedule to three days, eliminating their first day, just because).

But all of the associated events that surround the RNC were happening on Sunday. While reporters hung out with delegates and other associated GOP heavyweights last night at Tropicana Field (any news come out of that thing?) Republicans were all over the place in Tampa - as were demonstrators protesting their policies.

This reporter was inside the Tampa Theatre yesterday when seven activists began demonstrating as Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker began to address Ralph Reed's "Faith & Freedom" event, that also featured Newt Gingrich, Ted Cruz, Pam Bondi, Mike Huckabee and other hardline conservatives. They were ejected from the theatre, and had to promise not to come back to the theatre for at least a year, thus avoiding arrest.

Herman Cain and Michelle Bachmann, who don't have speaking gigs inside the Tampa Bay Times Forum, led it all hang out last night at the Unity 2012 event at the River Church. CL's Chip Weiner has a photo essay here.

Ron Paul spoke before nearly 10,000 people late Sunday afternoon at the Sun Dome at USF. CL's Meghan Margrum reports.

There was lots of activity in Lykes Gaslight Park in downtown Tampa yesterday as well. Cl's Michael Newberger has more.

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