Trump to move Republican National Convention out of North Carolina

Henrietta Brewer
June 3, 2020

PREVIOUS North Carolina's Democratic governor, Roy Cooper, on Tuesday rejected the GOP's plans for a full-fledged convention in Charlotte, telling Republican officials the only way the event would move forward is with proper health protocols in place.

The president tweeted North Carolina's governor would not guarantee Republicans could use the venue "as originally anticipated and promised".

"We are now forced to seek another State to host the 2020 Republican National Convention", Trump said.

The RNC had been going back and forth with Cooper, who just today pointed to coronavirus concerns in saying they couldn't guarantee they would be able to hold a full convention in late August.

Timing: North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) told convention organizers earlier Tuesday that Republicans should plan for a "scaled-down convention with fewer people, social distancing and face coverings" given the impact of the pandemic.

Later, Cooper told reporters it's unlikely that virus trends will allow a full-capacity nominating convention for Trump to proceed at Charlotte's National Basketball Association arena. Mecklenburg County, where Charlotte is located, accounted for 4,500 cases - more than double the next-highest county - and almost 100 deaths.

"We have now communicated to Governor Cooper's office multiple times that we would like to showcase Charlotte and the wonderful state of North Carolina to the world by hosting the convention we contracted for almost two years ago", McDaniel said, calling the convention a "historic event to show that America is open for business".

Earlier Tuesday, Gov. Roy Cooper sent a letter to the Republican National Committee saying that a full convention, now scheduled to take place in August, was not likely.

Still, two Charlotte restaurant owners said they didn't expect a huge hit if the RNC moved or was scaled back.

"It is unfortunate the Governor is dragging his feet on giving us any guidance as to how to move forward with plans to safely conduct our convention while generating hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue for the people of North Carolina", McDaniel said. Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said that GOP officials are coming to scout Nashville on Thursday, calling the city "the best place in America to have a convention".

"Had long planned to have the Republican National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, a place I love", Trump wrote on Twitter.

For more North Carolina government and politics news, listen to the Domecast politics podcast from The News & Observer and the NC Insider. So, we need to know what those requirements are going to be, ' he said. "So the likelihood of it being in Charlotte depends upon the RNC's willingness to discuss with us a scaled-down convention, which we would like to do".

The Spectrum Center in Charlotte, N.C., is seen on November 13, 2019, the planned site of the 2020 Republican National Convention.

Whalen, whose restaurant´s windows were smashed during recent protests over George Floyd´s death in Minneapolis police custody, said he thinks the RNC could also bring protesters, but that the city is equipped to deal with them.

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