State Watch

DeSantis pushing to host Republican National Convention in Florida

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) made his pitch for the Republican National Convention to host its quadrennial confab in the Sunshine State this summer, saying it would be a “mistake” to scrap the physical staging of the event over concerns regarding the coronavirus.

“The shape of the epidemic is just simply going to be different. Hopefully, it’s a lot better, but I think we’ll be able to make those decisions about what precautions need to be taken as you get closer,” DeSantis said in an interview on “Fox & Friends.”

“But to just rule out a convention at this stage, I think, is a mistake. So we’ve said we want to get to ‘yes’ on it, and I think you’ll be able to do it,” he added. “We’re prepared for [a second wave] obviously, but it very well may be we get into August and the prevalence of this thing is much lower.” 

The remarks were DeSantis’s first public pitch for Florida to host the convention since President Trump announced Tuesday that the GOP would move the event out of North Carolina to accommodate a fuller, in-person conference.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) had rejected the Republican Party’s plans for a full convention, saying only a curtailed event that followed health protocols would be possible.

GOP officials are eyeing a number of cities to host the convention, including Jacksonville, Fla., Nashville, Tenn., Atlanta, Dallas, Phoenix, New Orleans and Savannah, Ga.

DeSantis, whose state is undergoing an aggressive reopening plan, expressed confidence that Florida would be able to put on a full event that would be safe for all its attendees.

“We understand that there’s a virus. What can we do to be able to have activity in a way that’s safe?” he said. “To just say no to everything, I don’t think is going to work. So we want to be able to do it, and I think we could do it in a safe way.”

DeSantis added that Trump has “got people in his administration who deal with this safety stuff every day,” and said he was “sure they are going to be able to have ways to make sure that people [are] safe.”

The Democratic National Convention is slated to start Aug. 17 in Milwaukee, Wis., though it is unclear how it will be formatted.

The Democratic National Committee’s Rules and Bylaws Committee voted last month to give the party’s convention planning committee the power to “make the necessary changes to the format, size, date or other aspects in order to conduct a safe convention.”

“We’re working to plan a successful convention in Milwaukee and the resolution discussed today is an important first step to give the convention team maximum flexibility they need in this truly unprecedented moment in history,” Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez said last month.

Tags Donald Trump Florida Republican National Convention Ron DeSantis Tom Perez

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