RNC Gives Democrat Gov Deadline To Allow 'Full' Convention Or They Will Go Elsewhere
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The COVID-19 pandemic has forced President Donald Trump and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden to halt campaign rallies.
The Republican Party was scheduled to hold its convention in North Carolina, until the governor recently declared that it would only be permitted if a major chunk of the audience -- delegates, media, attendees, lawmakers, and so on -- were dramatically reduced.
In response, Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and CEO of the 2020 Republican National Convention Marcia Lee Kelly wrote a letter to North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper and gave him a deadline to make a decision.
The offer from the RNC was simple: either allow a "full convention" or they will go to another state.
McDaniel and Kelly said they still want to hold the convention in in Charlotte, N.C. but that Cooper needed to respond by Wednesday on whether they can proceed amid coronavirus-related restrictions.
“The RNC has worked tirelessly and in good faith throughout the planning process to make this a successful event for everyone,” they wrote. “That has not changed.”
“While we have demonstrated our commitment and acted to ensure a safe convention, to date, we have received no guidance that provides us with any assurances that the Convention can proceed according to the terms of the various participants’ original agreements,” they continued, noting that the RNC planned for a “full convention” with 19,000 delegates, alternate delegates, staff, volunteers and elected officials.
“Proactively, we have plans in place for temperature checks, testing before and during the Convention, making masks available for those who request one and providing enhanced sanitization of public areas in order to protect the health of attendees and the residents of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County,” they wrote.
During an interview last week on Fox and Friends, McDaniel said several states have come forward and offered to host the Republican convention "as normal" and without restrictions.
Republican governors in Texas, Florida, and Georgia have publicly asked the RNC to hold the event in their states this August.
McDaniel also pressed Cooper to be more specific about what he is proposing -- otherwise, Republicans may take the convention to a new state.
“The president is right to say to the governor, ‘You need to assure us before we lock in all these hotel rooms and we bring all of this revenue to your state that you’re going to let us have this convention,’” McDaniel said.
“There’s a lot of states that are calling the president right now saying, ‘Hey, why don’t you bring that revenue to our state,’” she added.
“We want to have it in North Carolina. The president loves North Carolina, it’s just the governor and he’s got to work with us,” McDaniel said. “Every state we talk to is saying, we want to nominate the president here. They’re so excited to have that.”
“But this governor is up for reelection. He hasn’t given us the assurances we need. We need to be able to move forward in a concrete way,” she concluded.
Here's more from NBC:
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp sent an open plea to Trump on Tuesday to consider his state as an alternate site for the quadrennial convention, which is set to gather more than 2,500 delegates and thousands more guests, press and security officials. Plans have been underway for more than a year to hold the convention in Charlotte, but Trump and national Republican officials have expressed concerns that local officials may not allow gatherings of that size during the pandemic.
Kemp's offer was followed by one from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who told reporters at a Miami news conference that he “would love” to have the GOP or even the Democratic convention, as either would bring millions of dollars to the state. The Republican governor said if Trump decides to move the GOP convention, it presumably would have to abide by any federal health guidelines and Florida would do its part to uphold them.
Texas lawmakers are encouraging Trump and the RNC to hold the event in the Lone Star state.
“Texas would welcome President Trump and the RNC Convention,” Texas Republican Party Chairman James Dickey said to the Austin American-Statesman. “Until then, based upon Gov. Abbott’s progress in opening Texas, we are on track for our state convention as planned in person in Houston in July.”