by WorldTribune Staff, May 25, 2020
President Donald Trump on Monday warned that he could pull the Republican National Convention from North Carolina if the state’s Democrat governor won’t guarantee the GOP will be allowed “full attendance” at the event.
In a series of tweets, Trump noted that Gov. Roy Cooper is in “Shutdown mood & unable to guarantee that by August we will be allowed … full attendance in the Arena.”
The president continued: “[Planners] must be immediately given an answer by the Governor as to whether or not the space will be allowed to be fully occupied. If not, we will be reluctantly forced … to find, with all of the jobs and economic development it brings, another Republican National Convention site. This is not something I want to do. Thank you, and I LOVE the people of North Carolina!”
The convention is scheduled for the week of Aug. 24 in Charlotte, North Carolina’s largest city.
Cooper’s office responded, saying state health officials are working with the Republican National Committee and “will review its plans as they make decisions about how to hold the convention in Charlotte. North Carolina is relying on data and science to protect our state’s public health and safety.”
Cooper recently announced his prolonged Phase 2 reopening of North Carolina will run through at least June 26. Phase 2 allows restaurants, salons and barbers to open at 50 percent capacity. But bars, night clubs, gyms and movie theaters are still closed, and large gatherings are prohibited.
The Democratic National Committee is mulling whether to settle for a virtual convention in three months or pack thousands in an indoor stadium in Milwaukee to formally nominate Joe Biden.
But the RNC has been committed to maintaining an in-person convention. “We are fully committed to an in-person event in August,” a GOP convention official recently told Fox News. “We’re forging ahead as originally planned.”
Vice President Mike Pence, on Fox & Friends, floated Florida as a potential location if the convention is moved, along with Georgia and Texas, two other states “farther along on reopening than North Carolina.”
Pence lauded Florida’s “tremendous progress on reopening,” adding that Trump wants people to “come together in a safe and responsible venue,” and that the request to Cooper is “reasonable … given the immense preparations involved.”