Sen. John McCain held a news conference late Sunday afternoon to announce that the RNC's opening day in St. Paul, Minn., will be scaled back dramatically as Hurricane Gustav heads toward the Gulf Coast.
McCain and his campaign manager Rick Davis announced that the RNC will halt most of the convention activities that were slated for Monday, except those that are absolutely necessary. McCain said "it's time to open our hearts and our wallets to those citizens who are now in the shadow of a natural disaster."
Earlier Sunday, President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney canceled their plans to speak at the convention Monday night because of the hurricane.
McCain, who spoke from St. Louis, said he and his VP running mate Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin had been on hurricane watch as they toured the state emergency management center in Jackson, Miss., on Sunday.
McCain also reportedly chartered a jet to fly home delegates of hurricane-threatened states along the Gulf Coast.
The storm is expected to make landfall as early as Monday.