TAMPA, Florida — Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said the GOP will respond tenfold to any Democratic efforts to upstage the party’s national convention, amid reports that Vice President Joe Biden will visit Tampa next week.
“I think it’s pretty common among parties to play with each other’s conventions, and we’ll have a pretty big presence in Charlotte as well,” Priebus said. “The nice thing about going first is that whatever they do to us, we can do ten times over to them.”
Does that mean that Romney may counter-program the Democratic convention in Charlotte next month? Priebus replied “You never know where we are going to be.”
“I’m a big believer in: if they punch us, we put on the brass knuckles and punch back,” he added.
Asked if he has a message for Biden on his visit to Tampa during the GOP convention, Priebus quipped: “It wouldn’t matter, because if I had a message for Joe Biden, he’s not capable of staying on message, so it doesn’t matter.”
Word of Biden’s visit apparently leaked when Secret Service agents were overheard discussing the trip on a flight full of Republicans en route to Tampa.
An Obama campaign spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Biden’s visit.
UPDATE: The Obama campaign confirms that Biden will stop in the Tampa area early next week as part of a two-day swing through Florida.