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President Donald Trump ramped up the pressure on North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, after saying Monday the Democrat is still in shutdown mode and unable to guarantee full attendance will be allowed at the Republican National Convention.
The convention is scheduled to take place in August and the president said Tuesday from the Rose Garden that Cooper has “a week” to make a decision on whether he’ll allow the Republican Party to fill the facility, Fox News reported.
“We have to know before we spend millions and millions of dollars on an arena to make it magnificent for the convention,” Trump said. “Now, if the governor can’t tell us very soon, unfortunately, we’ll have no choice… If he feels that he’s not going to do it, all he has to do is tell us and then we’ll have to pick another location, and I will tell you a lot of locations want it.”
— John Roberts (@johnrobertsFox) May 26, 2020
“I would say within a week, certainly we’d have to know,” he added. “And if he can’t do it, if he feels he can’t do it, all he has to do is tell us and we’ll pick another location, and I will tell you, a lot of locations want it.”
In what may amount to a bit of projecting, Gov. Cooper suggested Trump is playing politics.
Earlier Tuesday, Cooper claimed he’s waiting for the GOP “to present to us in writing their proposals” on holding a presidential convention amid the pandemic, according to Fox News.
“We’ve been in talks with the RNC about the kind of convention that they would need to run and the kind of options that we need on the table,” he said. “We’re talking about something that’s going to happen three months from now and we don’t know what our situation is going to be regarding COVID-19 in North Carolina.”
Trump posted a series of tweets on Monday suggesting they may be forced to move the event out of the state and that the RNC must be “immediately given an answer.”
“I’m not surprised by anything that I see on Twitter,” Cooper said Tuesday. “I will say that it’s OK for political conventions to be political, but pandemic response cannot be.”
But the governor doesn’t appear to be in any rush to decide “whether or not the space will be allowed to be fully occupied.”
“I supported having the convention in North Carolina,” he claimed. “But we have to put the health and safety of North Carolinians as the guiding star in this process, and we hope to continue the discussions and look forward to those discussions with the RNC later on this weekend and into next week.”
Meanwhile, other states are lining up to gladly offer to hold the convention.
The state of Georgia took the lead in its reopening efforts and the early indications suggest the state made the right call, and Republican Gov. Brian Kemp is eager to take advantage of the momentum.
Taking to Twitter, he offered to host the 2020 Republican National Convention in his home state.
“With world-class facilities, restaurants, hotels, and workforce, Georgia would be honored to safely host the Republican National Convention,” he tweeted. “We hope you will consider the Peach State, @realdonaldtrump!”
At the same time, Atlanta’s Democratic Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms contradicted the governor.
Appearing on CNN — naturally — the mayor said “we just aren’t there yet. … I don’t think that we would be prepared to do that in August.”
“I was a little surprised when I saw that offer being made,” she added.
Not to be outdone, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis cited the “economic impact” of having the event to say he’d “love to have” the convention take place in the Sunshine State, The Hill reported.
“Florida would love to have the RNC,” he said Tuesday at a press briefing. “Heck, I’m a Republican, it would be good for us to have the RNC in terms of the economic impact when you talk about major events like that. So my posture on all this is we should try to get it done as best we can in accordance with whatever safety requirements.”
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