Who said politics was on hold?

Mitt Romney attacks Barack Obama while introducing John McCain at a political rally Sunday, after McCain said Hurricane Gustav would put the campaign on pause.

Published September 1, 2008 12:47AM (EDT)

ST. PAUL -- Apparently no one told Mitt Romney which hat to wear on Sunday.

A few hours after John McCain addressed Republican delegates and told them to "take off our Republican hats and put on our American hats" as Hurricane Gustav loomed, Romney introduced McCain at a rally in Missouri with some red meat for the faithful.

"You want to make sure our next president is someone who when we talk about protecting our nation, doesn't just say, 'Let's sit down with the world's worst actors Ahmadinejad and the Castro brothers,'" Romney said, aiming right at Barack Obama. "You want to make sure the people of America understand that when it comes to strengthening our economy we're not in favor of raising taxes and cutting off trade and drawing a line and saying no nuclear, no coal, and no more drilling."

On Monday, the Republican convention will open but with no partisan speeches; McCain aides say they aren't sure whether the regularly scheduled program will resume later in the week. (The Obama campaign wasn't too impressed with how Romney kicked that effort off today, though. "I guess they haven't put on their 'America' hats yet," one aide grumbled.)

Romney may be more upset about not getting the vice presidential nomination than he's letting on. He went on to tell a little story about sitting in Beijing during the Olympics and thinking people were taking his picture, until his wife Ann pointed out that Kobe Bryant was sitting behind them. "I feel the same way right now," Romney said. "You don't want to listen to me. Let's listen to the next president and vice president of the United States, John McCain and Sarah Palin."

By Mike Madden

Mike Madden is Salon's Washington correspondent. A complete listing of his articles is here. Follow him on Twitter here.

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