Next steps unclear as Trump says RNC will seek another state

FILE – In this July 21, 2016, file photo, confetti and balloons fall during celebrations after Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s acceptance speech on the final day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. President Donald Trump demanded Monday, May 25, 2020, that North Carolina’s Democratic governor sign off “immediately” on allowing the Republican National Convention to move forward in August with full attendance despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Trump’s tweets Monday about the RNC. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

CHARLOTTE – With a looming June 3 deadline and a stalemate in talks, President Donald Trump announced on Tuesday night that the RNC will seek another state to host the convention long-planned for Charlotte.

Trump said in a series of tweets that, “Roy Cooper and his representatives refuse to guarantee that we can have use of the Spectrum Arena… and not allowing us to occupy the arena as originally anticipated and promised. Because of Gov. Cooper, we are now forced to seek another state to hose the 2020 Republican National Convention.”

A Republican National Committee official told North State Journal “Due to the directive from the governor that our convention cannot go on as planned as required by our rules, the celebration of the president’s acceptance of the Republican nomination will be held in another city. Should the governor allow more than 10 people in a room, we still hope to conduct the official business of the convention in Charlotte.”

The city of Charlotte’s official Twitter account said they had not received any notification from the RNC and said they had a contract in place to host the convention. The city attorney will be in contact with the attorneys for the RNC to understand their full intentions.

Lt. Gov. Dan Forest called the decision “A devastating economic blow to the Charlotte region and North Carolina as a whole” and criticized Gov. Cooper and his administration’s hesitation to give assurances to the RNC.

“Gov. Cooper has delivered a clear message that North Carolina is not open for business, and the repercussions to jobs and livelihoods will be long-lasting. When other states’ ‘science and data’ shows that it is safe to host a convention in August, it is clear the Cooper Administration is playing politics,” Forest continued.

U.S. Rep. Alma Adams, a Democrat who represents Charlotte and Mecklenburg County in Congress, celebrated the announcement, saying “Charlotte is too great to hate, so take your RNC to another state” in response to the decision.

Following a press conference yesterday at NCGOP headquarters, North Carolina Republican Party chairman Michael Whatley said he was “completely blown away” by the fact Cooper has pulled the plug on hosting the RNC Convention in Charlotte.

“His failure to work with the RNC on a plan to safely host a world-class event is a complete gut-punch to thousands of hotels, restaurants, bars and other small businesses who have already been suffering under his lockdown,” said Whatley.

A June 2 Politico article says at least four cities have reached out to the RNC, with a visit to Nashville, Tenn. set for later this week. Other potential sites include Las Vegas, which was Charlotte’s primary competitor in the initial awarding of the convention; Orlando, Fla.; Jacksonville, Fla.; and the state of Georgia.