BOSTON – Republican Gov. Mitt Romney (search) said Tuesday the Democratic Party should move its convention from the FleetCenter to a new convention center in South Boston, but convention officials say they're staying put.
Romney said having the convention in the FleetCenter (search) will cause significant disruptions to people trying to go in and out of the city by car or train or bus. He said such disruptions are the price of democracy.
"It would clearly be easier if this convention were being held in the new convention center," Romney said. "But it's not my choice. It's the choice of the Democratic National Committee (search). They have made their choice and we're going to support them in the choice they've made."
The FleetCenter poses significant security concerns because it's on top of a train station, across the street from a subway stop, and next to several major roadways. The new $600 million waterfront convention center is located south of downtown Boston in the Seaport District (search).
The Republican National Convention will be held in New York's Madison Square Garden (search), which is above the city subway lines and next to a railroad station.
Democratic National Convention officials said the FleetCenter is a good venue for the July event because it is centrally located, is a bowl shape, and has good camera lines and skyboxes for the media.
Mayor Thomas M. Menino (search), who led the effort to bring the event to the city, did not immediately return a call for comment. He has said the suggestion it should be moved was an attempt by Romney to embarrass him and the party.
Romney denied playing politics with Democrats or the mayor. "I don't want to do anything besides support his effort to have a highly successful convention," he said.