Biden scrubs Monday visit to Tampa, cites storm and security concernsby George Bennett | August 25th, 2012
President Obama‘s campaign has altered its plans to grab some spotlight from the Republican National Convention, announcing late Friday that Vice President Joe Biden is scrubbing a planned campaign stop in Tampa on Monday because of “disaster preparedness and local security concerns.”
With Tropical Storm Isaac churning toward Florida and tens of thousands of delegates, protesters and media coming to Tampa for the convention, Tampa Bay Online reported that Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee voiced concerns about the added security burden of a vice presidential visit.
“It does complicate things. Certainly, it’s not the best day for us because we are trying to do a good job for the people that are going to be down in Tampa for this other event so they are all safe,” Gee said.
“We’re stretched, no doubt, and we may become more stretched with this storm out there,” Gee said.
Even Tampa’s Democratic mayor, Bob Buckhorn, sounded less than enthusiastic about his city’s ability to handle the convention, the storm and a Biden visit.
Buckhorn told TBO Online he didn’t know where Biden was planning to visit, but “If it is in the city, then I’m sure we’re going to have to deploy some resources to it…They are resources I would prefer not to have to deploy, but it is what it is.”
Said the Obama campaign: “This change in schedule is being taken out of an abundance of caution to ensure that all local law enforcement and emergency management resources can stay focused on ensuring the safety of people who might be impacted by the storm, as well as those attending the activities in Tampa.”
Biden is still slated to campaign Tuesday in Orlando and St. Augustine, though the Obama camp says those plans are “subject to change due to weather-related precautions.”