Trump Says Republican National Convention Might Move From Charlotte—No Other City Wanted to Host It

President Donald Trump has threatened to scrap plans to hold the upcoming Republican National Convention in North Carolina and move the event elsewhere if the state's governor does not agree to allow "full attendance" at the August event.

Currently, under North Carolina's coronavirus response measures, gatherings of more than 10 people in indoor settings are not permitted under "most circumstances," while outdoor gatherings are limited to a maximum of 25 people.

Demanding an answer on whether Republicans would be able to move forward with a fully-attended convention in August, Trump said that if North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, could not commit to the allowance, the RNC would be reluctantly forced to move the convention and "all of the jobs and economic development it brings" to another state.

While the coronavirus pandemic could make it difficult for Trump to find another state willing to hold the mass event, another clear hurdle stands in the president's way: the fact that few states wanted to host the event in the first place.

An article published by New York Magazine's Intelligencer blog laid out the GOP's struggle with the headline: "GOP Awards Its 2020 Convention to the Only City That Sorta Kinda Wanted It."

At the time, Charlotte, which had previously hosted the 2012 Democratic National Convention, had been the only city to publicly pursue the convention, while other cities, including Philadelphia, San Antonio and Nashville, backed away from the potential bid.

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In an op-ed, San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg explained the city's decision, asserting that "national political conventions aren't the great deal for cities that the parties and their advocates want us to believe."

"That's the reason San Antonio hasn't pursued a bid for either national political convention in 20 years," Nirenberg said, noting that "only one city seems to be aggressively pursuing the 2020 Republican National Convention this time around."

In a separate statement Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales said that she further believed that holding the GOP event in San Antonio would break with the city's commitment to "cultural inclusion."

While Las Vegas had also been in the running to host the event, the city's Convention and Visitors Authority reportedly overruled local Republicans officials' efforts to see the RNC held there.

In the end, Charlotte, which was actively pursuing the chance to host the event, appeared to be the best, and perhaps only, choice.

Now, however, Trump has threatened to pull the plug on plans to host the RNC in the North Carolina city.

Gov. Cooper's office has responded to the threat, with a spokesperson asserting that the state would continue to work with Republicans on planning the event, but would also rely on "data and science to protect our state's public health and safety."

As of Monday morning, the state had more than 23,200 confirmed coronavirus cases and at least 744 deaths, according to government data.

On Friday, North Carolina entered "Phase 2" of its plans to reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic, with restaurants and some businesses allowed to open, with enforced limitations on capacity.

Phase 2 is expected to be in place until at least June 26. That is when officials are expected to make a decision on whether to extend it or relax the rules.

Trump
President Donald Trump speaks to the press on the South Lawn of the White House prior to departing on Marine One May 21, 2020 in Washington, D.C. The president has threatened to pull plans to host the 2020 RNC in North Carolina. Alex Wong/Getty
Trump Says Republican National Convention Might Move From Charlotte—No Other City Wanted to Host It | U.S.