WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney will not attend the GOP convention in St. Paul, Minnesota, because of Hurricane Gustav, White House press secretary Dana Perino said Sunday.
In addition, "substantial" changes to the Republican National Convention program will be announced Sunday because of the storm, two Republican officials said.
Sen. John McCain said Sunday it wouldn't be appropriate to hold a political celebration during the storm. He said there would be significant changes, but did not elaborate.
"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," said McCain, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.
McCain said it's likely the event would change into a "call to the nation for action."
"I pledge that tomorrow night, and if necessary, throughout our convention ... to act as Americans, not Republicans, because America needs us now no matter whether we are Republican or Democrat,'' he said.
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