Bush to Skip RNC for Gustav Trip

President to visit evacuees and workers in Texas

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Aug 31, 2008 1:06 PM CDT

(Newser) – President George W. Bush will skip the Republican National Convention tomorrow and travel instead to Texas to meet with emergency workers and people who evacuated the Gulf Coast as Hurricane Gustav bore down. He will hold off traveling to Louisiana, however, because he does not want to get in the way of emergency personnel.

After a briefing today at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Bush said he was assured that New Orleans' levees "are "stronger than they have ever been." But he said people across the Gulf Coast and in New Orleans need to understand there is a serious risk of flooding from a storm of this size, and urged them to heed local officials' order to evacuate.

FEMA Administrator David Paulison, right, listens as President Bush briefs members of the traveling press corps, Sunday, Aug. 31, 2008, at FEMA Headquarters  in Washington.
FEMA Administrator David Paulison, right, listens as President Bush briefs members of the traveling press corps, Sunday, Aug. 31, 2008, at FEMA Headquarters in Washington.   (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)
A crew of five Ohio guardsmen rom the Company B 3/238th General Support Aviaition Battalion are flying to Alexandria, La, today to support relief efforts in anticipation of hurricane Gustav.
A crew of five Ohio guardsmen rom the Company B 3/238th General Support Aviaition Battalion are flying to Alexandria, La, today to support relief efforts in anticipation of hurricane Gustav.   (AP Photo/Phil Long)
President Bush, left, and FEMA Administrator David Paulison, right, shake hands with FEMA workers, Sunday, Aug. 31, 2008, at FEMA Headquarters  in Washington.
President Bush, left, and FEMA Administrator David Paulison, right, shake hands with FEMA workers, Sunday, Aug. 31, 2008, at FEMA Headquarters in Washington.   (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)
Shrimp fisherman Jay Oregon tosses the rope to a fellow fisherman as they secure a shrimp fishing boat in Bayou La Batre, Ala., Sunday, Aug. 31, 2008, in advance of Hurricane Gustav.
Shrimp fisherman Jay Oregon tosses the rope to a fellow fisherman as they secure a shrimp fishing boat in Bayou La Batre, Ala., Sunday, Aug. 31, 2008, in advance of Hurricane Gustav.   (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
President Bush receives an update on the preparations for Hurricane Gustav, Sunday, Aug. 31, 2008, at FEMA Headquarters  in Washington.
President Bush receives an update on the preparations for Hurricane Gustav, Sunday, Aug. 31, 2008, at FEMA Headquarters in Washington.   (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)
President Bush will not yet go to Louisiana, he says, to avoid getting in the way of emergency workers.
President Bush will not yet go to Louisiana, he says, to avoid getting in the way of emergency workers.   (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)
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