President Donald Trump on Monday threatened to move the Republican National Convention out of Charlotte unless North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper can guarantee that they can fill the arena to capacity.
“I love the Great State of North Carolina, so much so that I insisted on having the Republican National Convention in Charlotte at the end of August,” Trump tweeted. Unfortunately, Democrat Governor, @RoyCooperNC is still in Shutdown mood & unable to guarantee that by August we will be allowed full attendance in the Arena. In other words, we would be spending millions of dollars building the Arena to a very high standard without even knowing if the Democrat Governor would allow the Republican Party to fully occupy the space.”
“Plans are being made by many thousands of enthusiastic Republicans, and others, to head to beautiful North Carolina in August,” he added. They must be immediately given an answer by the Governor as to whether or not the space will be allowed to be fully occupied. If not, we will be reluctantly forced to find, with all of the jobs and economic development it brings, another Republican National Convention site. This is not something I want to do.”
Cooper said science will guide decisions:
Cooper told CNN last week that while he supported holding the convention in Charlotte, the science would dictate the restrictions.
"This is not political. This is not emotional. This is based on health experts, data and science and that's it for everybody to see," he said. "No one is being favored or disfavored over the other."
"The good thing is that this is three months away and it's too early to tell where North Carolina will be," he added. "But we are looking at these objective measures that everybody can see that everybody can see, that the public can examine."
Pence doubles down:
Vice President Mike Pence echoed Trump’s comments in an interview with Fox News on Monday.
"It's an issue we've been talking about because these national conventions literally take many months to organize and prepare and there are states around the country -- we think of Texas, we think of Florida, Georgia, the last two states I visited last week that have made tremendous progress on reopening their communities and reopening their economies," Pence said.
Pence said Trump’s request was “very reasonable.”
"We all want to be in Charlotte, we love North Carolina, but having a sense now is absolutely essential because of the rules and regulations that are involved, and we look forward to working with Gov. Cooper, getting a swift response, and, if need be, moving the national convention to a state that is farther along on reopening and can say with confidence that we can gather there," he said.