Obama: 'We'll have to roll' with speech in smaller venue

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – President Obama acknowledged that there will be “less fanfare” when he accepts the party’s nomination Thursday night because of the change in venue but urged supporters not to let “a little thunder and lightning get us down.”

“We’re gonna have to roll with it,” Obama said on a call with thousands of supporters who will not be able to attend the speech because of the decision to switch the setting from the larger Bank of America Stadium to the smaller Time Warner Cable Arena.

He said the convention has been “unbelievable” so far but expressed “regret” that “we're not all gathering in one place.”

“Obviously I’m looking forward to laying out what are the stakes in this election and what my vision for the future is, and because of the nature of our campaign we’ve always been about getting everybody involved, making sure everybody is participating and making sure everybody’s got access,” he said. “That’s why we took a chance in Denver four years ago and that’s why we wanted to take a chance when it came to North Carolina.”

But Obama says the reason the campaign moved the convention inside on the final night was because of “a safety issue.”

“I could not ask you, our volunteers, law enforcement, first-responders to subject themselves to the risk of severe thunderstorms,” he said. “Getting 70,000 people into a place is tough. Getting them out of there is even tougher, and if we had started seeing severe thunderstorms and lightning in particular it would have been a problem and we would have had a situation where we were putting you guys at risk.

“I know it’s disappointing,” he said adding that some of his aides who were working non-stop on this for months were “a little bit crestfallen.”

But he urged supporters to “tune in tonight” and “watch the speech together.”

“Let me know what you think afterwards,” he said, before adding, “I’ll be seeing you in your home states soon, OK?