facebook linkedin twitter

GOP State Lawmakers Make Bid to Keep Trump, RNC in North Carolina

June 9, 2020 by Dan McCue
Confetti and balloons fall during celebrations after Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's acceptance speech on the final day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

Republican lawmakers in North Carolina plan to vote Tuesday on a measure that would allow President Donald Trump to speak in front of a capacity crowd at the Republican National Convention in Charlotte without the restrictions officials have imposed on other events to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

The measure is seen as largely symbolic as it will almost certainly be rejected by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper, and at present, the Republicans reportedly don’t have the votes to override his veto.

An announcement on the future of the convention could come as early as Wednesday.

Cooper and North Carolina health officials have been the subject of multiple angry tweets by President Donald Trump due to their insistence the convention be held in accordance with whatever pandemic-stemming rules are in effect at the time of the late August event.

After Cooper failed to bow to his requests, Trump said he’d find another host city for the quadrennial event.

The bill, authored by Republican State Rep. John Torbett, calls for convention events in Charlotte to be held at full capacity, regardless of what Cooper says.

The bill would require attendees to complete both pre-attendance and daily health surveys and have their temperatures taken prior to entry. But it would not require face masks or six feet of physical distancing.

“If they choose to gather in close proximity without any protection, they have the option to do that under their own personal responsibility,” Torbett has said.

Meanwhile, the Republican National Committee, which runs the convention, is exploring other sites for Trump to speak in front of a full capacity crowd after Cooper’s refusal, but said it plans to keep its official business meetings in Charlotte.

“The RNC’s Executive Committee has voted unanimously to allow the official business of the national convention to continue in Charlotte,” said a statement from Michael Ahrens, the RNC’s communications director. “Many other cities are eager to host the president’s acceptance of the nomination, and we are currently in talks with several of them to host that celebration.”

Last week, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp was in Savannah, Ga. to tour a food bank, when he was asked to address rumors that the historic city is on the short list as a potential alternate convention site.

Kemp was the first state official to make a bid for the convention in the wake of Trump’s saying it would be moved.

“I think for a GOP or Democratic convention, as big as they are in today’s world, you may not have enough hotel rooms to do something like that here for the number of people who are coming,” Kemp said. “That’s one reason we’re working on the [Savannah] Convention Center and trying to expand that so we can continue to have large events.”

But Kemp went on to say Republican Party leadership is considering the format the convention will take, which suggested it is possible the GOP will hold different events in various cities. If that becomes the case, Savannah could end up hosting a GOP celebration this summer after all.

“They may have multiple events, which if they do that, I think certainly any large venue in our state could be a place that could house it,” Kemp said, adding that he is eager to entice any organizations that may host conferences here to help boost the economy.

“We’re open for business in Georgia,” Kemp said. “We’ll work with public health officials to try to do anything they want to.”

Republican officials visited Nashville on Thursday and plan to tour other major cities in the coming days. Aside from Savannah, the RNC’s top considerations to host Trump include Orlando, Florida; Jacksonville, Florida; New Orleans, Louisiana; Dallas, Texas and Phoenix, Arizona.

If an alternate site is chosen for at least some of the events, it would be the first time a political convention has been held in different cities at once.

In Jacksonville, Mayor Lenny Curry has openly lobbied for the convention to come to his city and Florida Gov. Ron Desantis said the state would welcome the convention, citing Orlando, Miami, and Jacksonville as potential hosts.

Last week, Desantis also said while the coronavirus is a concern, it should not prevent Florida from hosting the event.

“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 in an interview with the Florida Times-Union. “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.” 

Representatives of the RNC convention committee did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment.

Political News

October 21, 2021
by Dan McCue
Budget Hawk Urges Congress to Reject ‘Extenders’ to Get Reconciliation Deal

WASHINGTON - With Congressional Democrats reportedly within days of an agreement on a slimmed down reconciliation spending package, a well... Read More

WASHINGTON - With Congressional Democrats reportedly within days of an agreement on a slimmed down reconciliation spending package, a well known independent budget hawk is urging them not to resort to “blatant budget gimmicks” to move the initiative toward passage. Specifically, Maya MacGuineas, president of the... Read More

October 21, 2021
by Dan McCue
Schumer Vows to Quickly Advance Next Voting Rights Bill to Senate Floor

WASHINGTON –  Less than 24 hours after Senate Republicans blocked debate on the Freedom to Vote Act, Majority Leader Chuck... Read More

WASHINGTON –  Less than 24 hours after Senate Republicans blocked debate on the Freedom to Vote Act, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said he’ll advance another voting rights bill to the floor of the chamber as early as next week. However, he did not say whether... Read More

Virginia Gives Democrats a Test of Black Turnout Before 2022

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — As Democrat Terry McAuliffe worked the crowd at Norfolk State University's homecoming football game, many fans... Read More

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — As Democrat Terry McAuliffe worked the crowd at Norfolk State University's homecoming football game, many fans at the historically Black school were ready with answers before he could even ask for their vote. "Everybody I talked to said: 'Don't worry, I've already... Read More

House to Vote on Bannon Contempt as Justice Decision Looms

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House is voting Thursday on whether to hold Steve Bannon, a longtime ally and aide to... Read More

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House is voting Thursday on whether to hold Steve Bannon, a longtime ally and aide to former President Donald Trump, in contempt of Congress after he defied a subpoena from a committee investigating the violent Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection. That committee has... Read More

Big Changes in White House Ideas to Pay for $2 Trillion Plan

SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) — In an abrupt change, the White House on Wednesday floated new plans to pay for parts... Read More

SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) — In an abrupt change, the White House on Wednesday floated new plans to pay for parts of President Joe Biden's $2 trillion social services and climate change package, shelving a proposed big increase in corporate tax rates though also adding a new... Read More

October 20, 2021
by Dan McCue
Senate GOP Blocks Democrats’ Election Reform Bill, Filibuster Support Softens

WASHINGTON -- Despite changes reflecting the spirit of compromise, Senate Democrats were unable on Wednesday to convince a single Republican... Read More

WASHINGTON -- Despite changes reflecting the spirit of compromise, Senate Democrats were unable on Wednesday to convince a single Republican to vote with them in support of guaranteeing Americans the right to easy access to the polls.  As a result, the Senate voted 49-51 to end... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top