Trump: North Carolina governor must decide ‘within a week’ about GOP convention
President Trump on Tuesday said the governor of North Carolina must decide within a week whether the GOP can host its full convention in Charlotte as top Republican officials threaten to seek an alternative site otherwise.
Trump and Republican officials have pressured Gov. Roy Cooper (D) in recent days to inform them whether he will allow a full-scale convention to take place in August amid concerns about the coronavirus pandemic. The president indicated during a Rose Garden event that Cooper had only a few days to decide.
“We’re talking about a very short period of time,” Trump said. “It’s a massive expenditure, and we have to know. Yeah, I would say within a week, certainly, we’d have to know. Now if he can’t do it, if he feels he’s not going to do it, all he has to do is tell us, and then we’ll have to pick another location.”
The president implied that Cooper’s actions may be politically motivated, suggesting Democratic governors “for political reasons don’t want to open up their states.”
The governor has insisted that health experts will ultimately guide the decision of whether to allow the convention. Some state and local officials have expressed concerns that allowing thousands of guests to pack into an arena for the convention could lead to a spike in coronavirus cases.
Similar concerns have increased the likelihood that the Democratic convention may take place virtually, but Trump has been adamant he wants an in-person event to coronate his nomination for reelection.
The decision to cancel the convention in Charlotte would likely have significant ramifications, as the event has been in the works for roughly two years.
Other states have started jockeying to position themselves as alternatives to Charlotte. The governors of Georgia and Florida on Tuesday said they would welcome the GOP convention if it did not take place in North Carolina.