ST. PAUL--John McCain, in Mississippi with running mate Sara Palin, said the script for the GOP convention here will be rewritten from a celebration to a call for action because of Hurricane Gustav. President Bush and Vice President Cheney have already announced they will not attend Monday's opening convention session. McCain and Palin toured the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency emergency operations center in Jackson on Sunday.
"We must redirect our efforts from the really celebratory event of the nomination of president and vice president of our party to acting as all Americans," McCain said.
"We'll change our program and I'll be announcing details of it in the next few hours. But there's very little doubt that we have to go from a party event to a call to the nation for action, action to help our fellow citizens in this time of tragedy and disaster, action in the form of volunteering, donations, reaching out our hands and our hearts and our wallets to the people who are under such great threat from this great natural disaster.
"I pledge that tomorrow night, and if necessary, throughout our convention if necessary, to act as Americans not Republicans, because America needs us now no matter whether we are Republican or Democrat," McCain said.