President Trump announced on Tuesday that he has ended the bid to hold the much-anticipated Republican National Convention in North Carolina after NC Gov. Roy Cooper (D) said that the planned convention will have to be “scaled down.”
“Because of @NC_Governor, we are now forced to seek another State to host the 2020 Republican National Convention,” Trump tweeted on Tuesday.
Cooper shoots it down
The RNC was originally scheduled to be held at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, from Aug. 24-27.
However, amid concerns about the potential for spreading coronavirus at such a large gathering, Cooper sent a letter to Republican National Committee chairwoman Rona McDaniel and Republican National Convention President Marcia Kelly Lee indicating that organizers would have to modify plans.
“We still want a safe RNC convention in Charlotte that follows the health guidelines set forth in the CDC’s interim guidance regarding mass gatherings,” Cooper wrote in the letter. “The people of North Carolina do not know what the status of COVID-19 will be in August, so planning for a scaled-down convention with fewer people, social distancing and face coverings is a necessity.”
“With the Nation, the State of North Carolina and the City of Charlotte still under states of emergency it’s important to conduct the RNC convention accordingly,” Cooper continued. “As much as we want the conditions surrounding COVID-19 to be favorable enough for you to hold the Convention you describe in late August, it is very unlikely. Neither public health officials nor I will risk the health and safety of North Carolinians by providing the guarantee you seek.”
Trump began pressuring Cooper to green-light a full convention last week, warning him that if demands weren’t met, the GOP would take the convention to a friendlier state.
Trump ends the conflict
In a series of tweets on Tuesday, Trump expressed his disappointment at Cooper’s unwillingness to approve a “full” convention.
“Had long planned to have the Republican National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, a place I love,” Trump said. “Now, @NC_Governor Roy Cooper and his representatives refuse to guarantee that we can have use of the Spectrum Arena.”
Though much of the nation is emerging from the grip of the coronavirus pandemic, Trump said that Cooper is still in “Shelter-In-Place Mode, and not allowing us to occupy the arena as originally anticipated and promised.”
The RNC is a massive event that brings tens of thousands of attendees to the area, boosting the local economy and putting the city it’s held in on the map. Trump lamented that the originally planned convention “would have showcased beautiful North Carolina to the World, and brought in hundreds of millions of dollars, and jobs, for the State.”
Neither Trump nor RNC leaders have announced where the convention will be moved to, but GOP Govs. Ron DeSantis of Florida and Brian Kemp of Georgia made it clear that they were jockeying for the “honor” of hosting the massive event.