Trump Rules Out Moving Republican Convention To His Golf Resort, After Threatening Move From North Carolinaby Nicholas Reimann
President Donald Trump said in a tweet Monday he has “zero interest” in moving the Republican National Convention to his Doral golf resort in Florida, just hours after he suggested the August convention would have to move out of North Carolina unless Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper agrees to allow thousands to gather for the convention.
Trump made the remarks about moving the convention from Charlotte, North Carolina in a series of tweets Monday morning, where he suggested the governor should guarantee the convention can accommodate “thousands of enthusiastic Republicans” for its planned Aug. 24-27 dates.
In a tweet Monday afternoon, Trump denied he’d want the convention moved to his golf resort or any sort of hotel ballroom in Florida, saying “Ballroom is not nearly big enough & would like to stay in N.C.” as a response to New York Times reporting saying that the president has asked aides why the convention can’t just be held in a Florida hotel ballroom.
Earlier this month, Trump accused Cooper of “playing politics” with the state’s reopening, which is going through a phased process like many other states, moving to Phase 2 of its reopening last Friday.
Though the state could officially end its phased reopening earlier this summer, it’s unclear whether a convention potentially packing tens of thousands into the Spectrum Center in downtown Charlotte would be allowed to go on.
Democrats — who plan to hold their convention Aug. 17-20 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin — may end up holding a virtual convention if an in-person event seems unfeasible.
Speaking on Fox News Monday morning, Vice President Mike Pence echoed Trump’s call to continue holding the convention, saying Trump’s request of Cooper was ““very reasonable,” while also singling out Texas, Florida and Georgia as state’s he feels have made strong progress reopening.
"They must be immediately given an answer by the Governor as to whether or not the space will be allowed to be fully occupied,” Trump said of Republicans. "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 Republican National Convention would mainly serve as a formality of sorts for Trump as Republican nominee, since he didn’t face any real competition in this year’s Republican primaries. Conventions are also typically followed by a boost in the nominee’s standing in the polls, with the Republican convention being held later than the Democratic one this year meaning that Trump would likely get a boost closer to the actual Nov. 3 election date.
The RNC site selection committee chose Charlotte as the host city in 2018, after it was the only city to officially submit a bid. The choice of the city was seen as a wise one for Republicans given North Carolina’s status as a swing state.
Though Trump managed to defeat Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton by a little over 3 percentage points — with Clinton even holding her final campaign rally in the state —that didn’t translate down ballot to the governor’s race, which saw Cooper narrowly defeat Republican incumbent Pat McCrory.
Barack Obama was the most recent Democratic nominee to carry the state, winning it over John McCain in 2008 but failing to keep it blue in his 2012 reelection, which saw Mitt Romney win the state.
Like many states that have taken a phased approach to reopening, Cooper’s decisions have been met by many with disapproval and protest. The latest event is scheduled to happen Monday, with “Freedom Rally” protests organized by the group Reopen NC planned in cities across the state.
74% — That’s the share of North Carolinians who support Cooper’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a recent Washington Post-Ipsos poll.
Trump says Gov. Roy Cooper is ‘playing politics’ with reopening; hopes it won’t affect RNC (The Charlotte Observer)
The Southern Democrat with the power to shut down Trump's convention (Politico)
ReOpen NC protesters to hold 'Freedom Rally' across NC on Memorial Day (WTVD-TV)