TAMPA, Fla. - With the Republican National Convention officially starting on Monday, Florida delegates like A.J. Matthews will be starting four days of GOP bliss that's been nearly two years in the making.
A state committee member for Hillsborough County, Matthews is looking forward to meeting with other delegates from across the country in the days leading up to the official nomination of presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
It's no surprise he's among many delegates annoyed by the announcement that Vice-President Joe Biden will be visiting Tampa on the first day of the RNC.
"In two words: Bad form," Matthews said. He's attended republican conventions since 1996, and he's never heard of such a high-ranking official from the opponent's side making an appearance the same week of a party convention.
"Do we really want Governor Romney or Congressman Ryan going up to their convention?" Matthews said. "This is a republican convention. Let the Republicans have our fun."
Some in local law enforcement agree. Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee was quoted saying his agency is already stretched to the limit because of security needs at the RNC.
A vice-presidential visit requires Secret Service security, and it's expected that Orlando Police will be dispatched from Central Florida to assist with escorting Biden to and from the airport.
During a campaign stop in Michigan, Biden seemed to be making light of his Tampa trip.
"Any of you going to Florida?" Biden asked while the national press corps rolled video and snapped pictures. "I'm the speaker at the convention. I'm going to be down there," Biden said.
Exact details of Biden's Tampa visit are still being arranged. After his Monday stop, Biden will attend a campaign event in Orlando on Tuesday. A featured guest at that event will be actress Eva Longoria, best known for her role in the long-running ABC series "Desperate Housewives."
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.