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Trump says he's pulling Republican National Convention from Charlotte

Brian Murphy, The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.) on

Published in Political News

WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump said he is moving the Republican National Convention from Charlotte, N.C., hours after North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said he couldn't guarantee that the August event would be at full capacity due to the coronavirus.

In a tweet Tuesday night, Trump said: "Had long planned to have the Republican National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, a place I love. Now, @NC--Governor Roy Cooper and his representatives refuse to guarantee that we can have use of the Spectrum Arena -- Spend millions of dollars, have everybody arrive, and then tell them they will not be able to gain entry.

"Governor Cooper is still in Shelter-In-Place Mode, and not allowing us to occupy the arena as originally anticipated and promised. Would have showcased beautiful North Carolina to the World, and brought in hundreds of millions of dollars, and jobs, for the State.

"Because of @NC--Governor, we are now forced to seek another State to host the 2020 Republican National Convention."

Trump has been known to change course at times and to use maximum pressure to get his way, so threatening to "seek another state" could be a negotiating tactic. Trump first threatened to pull the convention in a series of tweets on Memorial Day.

Cooper said Tuesday that he could not guarantee the "full convention" envisioned by Trump and convention organizers that included 19,000 people in attendance at the Spectrum Center and nearby bars and restaurants operating at capacity. Cooper said it was "very unlikely" that Republicans could have the convention they had envisioned.

 

North Carolina is currently in Phase 2 of its coronavirus reopening. Indoor gatherings are currently limited to 10 people.

The convention is scheduled for Aug. 24 through Aug. 27. Trump would be renominated by the Republican delegates on Aug. 27.

Cooper, a Democrat, said Tuesday that state officials and convention organizers had discussed a limited attendance version, but those "discussions have stopped."

"They have demanded a full 19,000-person crowd at the inside arena in Charlotte. We've continued to say we want to talk with you about a scaled-down convention. But we cannot guarantee you that at the end of August, you can have a full arena," Cooper said Tuesday at a news briefing in Raleigh.

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