US President Donald Trump said Tuesday that the Republican Party will be “forced” to find a new state to host their convention as North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper stands by his demand that party leaders provide him with plans for a scaled-down event amid coronavirus concerns.
Cooper, the President tweeted, “is still in Shelter-In-Place Mode, and not allowing us to occupy the arena as originally anticipated and promised. Would have showcased beautiful North Carolina to the World, and brought in hundreds of millions of dollars, and jobs, for the State.”
“Because of @NC_Governor, we are now forced to seek another State to host the 2020 Republican National Convention,” he said.
The tweets come after the Democratic governor wrote in a letter to Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and Convention CEO Marcia Lee Kelly that he would like to continue the conversation with organizers, but unless they offer up a much different plan, the chances of Charlotte, North Carolina, being able to host the August event are “very unlikely.”
“The people of North Carolina do not know what the status of COVID-19 will be in August, so planning for a scaled down convention with fewer people, social distancing and face coverings is a necessity,” Cooper wrote. “We are happy to continue talking with you about what a scaled down convention would look like and we still await your proposed plan for that.”
Two sources with knowledge told CNN that, despite the President’s tweet, it appears the decision isn’t final. But the sources say there have been tense conversations in the past 48 hours between the RNC and the governor’s office ahead of Trump’s self-imposed deadline, which is Wednesday.
Following Trump’s tweet, Cooper said it was “unfortunate” no deal was made.
“We have been committed to a safe RNC convention in North Carolina and it’s unfortunate they never agreed to scale down and make changes to keep people safe. Protecting public health and safety during this pandemic is a priority,” Cooper said on Twitter.
Officials from the Republican National Committee are considering Nashville, Las Vegas, Orlando, Jacksonville and venues in Georgia to host their August convention if they fail to reach a deal with officials in North Carolina, two Republicans familiar with the planning tell CNN.