By Adele Hampton - 08/23/12 01:35 PM EDT
The Republican National Committee said Thursday it has no plans to cancel its convention despite an approaching tropical storm.
"No, there's no such thing as canceling," RNC communications director Sean Spicer said on CNN’s "Starting Point."
"We do have contingency plans to deal with weather-related and other circumstances that may occur to ensure that ... the business can go on at the RNC and that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will become our nominees and that the safety of the folks attending it here and in the Tampa Bay community are taken care of," Spicer said.
NBC meteorologist Bill Karins on Thursday said the first two days of the convention were "definitely in jeopardy," though he acknowledged the storm's strength and path remain uncertain.
Karins said the storm, now south of Puerto Rico, could weaken as it passes the mountains in Cuba and other Caribbean islands in its path. But it could then gather more strength from the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
"Monday and Tuesday are definitely in jeopardy, and I don't see any way possible Tampa is going to be completely missed at this point," he said.
RNC and Florida state officials say they are preparing to deal with the storm's uncertain landfall. Florida Gov. Rick Scott said Thursday morning he had convened local, state and federal and convention officials for a twice-daily briefing on the storm's development.
"Although Tropical Storm Isaac is still far from Florida’s shores, we are closely tracking the potential for the storm to impact part or all of the state, including the Tampa Bay region during the Republican National Convention,” Scott said in a statement Wednesday.
“I’m urging everyone across the state to monitor the storm track, and use the next several days to prepare for a potential storm. As we know, storms this far from land are still unpredictable and everyone should be vigilant and prepared.”
While sparse on the details of the RNC's emergency plan, Spicer said he is optimistic for a "fantastic" convention in the face of the oncoming storm.
"We've got the plans in place should anything occur, and that's how we're going forward. We're going to keep looking forward to having a great convention," he said.