Donald Trump gives North Carolina governor a week to make him an offer on the GOP convention as red states start bidding to host party's August gathering after president threats to remove it from Charlotte

President Donald Trump said on Tuesday he would give Roy Cooper, the Democratic governor of North Carolina, a week to make him an offer for the state to host the Republican National Convention this summer.
Trump wants reassurance that thousands of GOP faithful will be able to fill the Spectrum Center and Charlotte Convention Center to see him coronated as the party's presidential nominee in August. Cooper currently has the state in a limited reopening that only allows for gatherings of 10 people indoors.
'We're talking about a very short period of time. It's a massive expenditure. And we have to know, yeah I would say within a week, that certainly we have to know. Now if he can't do it, 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,' Trump said during an event in the Rose Garden at the White House.
President Trump said he would give Roy Cooper, the Democratic governor of North Carolina, a week to make him an offer for the state to host GOP convention
President Trump said he would give Roy Cooper, the Democratic governor of North Carolina, a week to make him an offer for the state to host GOP convention
President Trump wants to know convention center will be filled with thousands of people when he formally accepts party's nomination this August but Gov. Roy Cooper has North Carolina in limited reopening that allows for gatherings of 10 people
President Trump wants to know convention center will be filled with thousands of people when he formally accepts party's nomination this August but Gov. Roy Cooper has North Carolina in limited reopening that allows for gatherings of 10 people
President Trump said repeatedly he loves North Carolina and pointed out his daughter-in-law Lara Trump is from the state and she and his son Eric named their daughter Carolina; Trump, Eric Trump, Luke Trump, Lara Trump and Carolina Trump are seen above in a family photo
President Trump said repeatedly he loves North Carolina and pointed out his daughter-in-law Lara Trump is from the state and she and his son Eric named their daughter Carolina; Trump, Eric Trump, Luke Trump, Lara Trump and Carolina Trump are seen above in a family photo
'I will tell you a lot of locations wanted, but I picked North Carolina because I do love that state and it would have been a perfect place for it and it still would be, but he's got to say that, you know, when thousands of people come to the arena that they'll be able to get in. Does that make sense?,' he added.
The president explained he doesn't want people to travel to Charlotte only to find the state still under lock down orders that would prevent a large audience in the convention center.
'I don't want to have it where we get there and then they announce - after all the money was spent, all the work was done, all the people traveling, guess what, you can't put anybody in the arena. Or you could put a tiny number of people in the arena. We can't do that,' Trump said. 
The president said repeatedly he loves North Caroline, a state critical to his re-election effort and which he won by 3 points in 2016. He pointed out his daughter-in-law Lara Trump is from the state and she and his son Eric named their daughter Carolina. 
'I love North Carolina. In fact my son, Eric, and Lara named a baby Carolina,' he said. 'So it's a very important place to me.'
He slammed Cooper, a Democrat, and other Democratic governors who he claim are reopening their states slowly to hurt him political. Cooper said he would rely on medical professions to make his decisions about reopening. 
'He's a Democrat and a lot of the Democrats for political reasons don't want to open up their states,' Trump said.
'We need a fast decision from the governor. He's been acting very slowly and very suspiciously,' he added.
Cooper dismissed Trump's threat to move the convention out of Charlotte.
'I'm not surprised by anything I see on Twitter,' he told reporters in the state. 'It's OK for political conventions to be political, but pandemic response cannot be.' 
Meanwhile, red-state Republicans are lobbying to host the GOP convention this August. 
Officials in Florida, George and Texas said they would welcome the event in their state after Trump issued his threat and Vice President Mike Pence listed those states as a possibility.
All have Republican governors - opposed to North Carolina's Democratic one - but Florida is the only battleground state pushing to host the event that will see the party formally Trump its nominee for the November election. 
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said President Trump wants to see the convention go forward but she didn't indicate where it might take place.
'The president wants to see the convention take place and he's noted that. And he wants to have a cooperative governor and making that pursuit happen,' she said at her press briefing. 'That being said, of course we always assess the facts on the ground at any time. But at this moment, the president wants us convention take place and sees no reason not to.'
And red-states have begun the lobbying process. 
'What better place than Florida for the Republican National Convention? @RealDonaldTrump's home state and the largest swing state,' Florida's Republican Party wrote on its Twitter account.
Florida Republicans are lobbying to host the GOP convention this summer after President Donald Trump threatened to pull the event from Charlotte
Florida Republicans are lobbying to host the GOP convention this summer after President Donald Trump threatened to pull the event from Charlotte
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, is a close Trump friend and ally
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, is a close Trump friend and ally
And Florida Republican Party Chairman Chairman Joe Gruters said the state would welcome the opportunity to put on the event.
'The Republican Party of Florida would welcome the opportunity to host the Republican National Convention,' he told the Miami Herald in a statement. 'Florida is committed to ensuring a safe, secure and successful event for President Trump and all attendees.'
President Trump moved his officially residency to Florida late last year, listing his Mar-a-Lago residence as his home. The state is further along in its reopening efforts than North Carolina and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, is a close Trump ally and friend to the president.
'Florida would love to have the RNC,' DeSantis told reporters in Florida on Tuesday.
DeSantis and Trump will see each other on Wednesday when the president is in Florida for the launch of the launch of SpaceX Demo-2 in Cape Canaveral. 
Florida is also crucial to Trump's re-election efforts. He won the state by less than 2 percent in 2012.  
The state has hosted Republican conventions before. Tampa hosted the Republican National Convention in 2012 and Miami was the host in 1968 and 1972. 
Georgia and Texas also expressed interest in hosting the convention. Georgia was the first state to majorly reopen during the pandemic, which earned Governor Brian Kemp some criticism, including from Trump.
But now Kemp is appealing to the president to hold the convention in his state.
'With world-class facilities, restaurants, hotels, and workforce, Georgia would be honored to safely host the Republican National Convention. We hope you will consider the Peach State, @realdonaldtrump!,' Kemp tweeted.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, seen with Mike Pence when the vice president was in the state on Friday, said his state would love to host the Republican convention
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, seen with Mike Pence when the vice president was in the state on Friday, said his state would love to host the Republican convention
And Texas Republican Party Chairman James Dickey said Monday his state would be happy to host. Texas has entered phase 2 of reopening and Dickey noted the party plans to hold its state convention in July as planned.
'Texas would welcome President Trump and the RNC Convention,' Dickey told the Austin American-Statesman. 'We are on track for our state convention as planned in person in Houston in July.'
Dickey also said Texas Republicans invited Trump to speak at its state convention, scheduled for July 13-18 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston.
Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel pointed out a convention would bring a huge amount of revenue to the host state and a lot of states would want that. 
'There's a lot of states calling the president right saying 'why don't you bring that revenue to our state,' she told 'Fox & Friends' on Tuesday morning.
But she added the party and the president would like to keep the event in Charlotte. 
'We want to have it in North Carolina. The president loves North Carolina. It's just the governor,' she said. 'He hasn't given us the reassurances we need. We need to be able to move forward in a concrete way.'  
Moving a convention to another state this quickly poses a series of logistical problems. Additionally, the Republican Party signed a 94-page contract with the city of Charlotte to host the convention there. 
The contract was signed last summer, before any indication of the coronavirus, meaning there is no out clause in the case of a global pandemic.
WCNC, the NBC affiliate in Charlotte, had a lawyer read the contract to analyze what would happen if the convention did not take place there. 
Attorney Chris Strianese told the station that Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper holds the 'keys to the convention' as the contract stipulates the city must follow state guidelines on gatherings.
The state is in a limited phase 2 that does not permit gatherings of more than 10 people indoors. Cooper could give the convention a waiver on that. 
But if the contract is broken, there would be hefty fines to be paid, likely including repaying the $50 million security grant Charlotte received from the federal government, the $5.5 million licensing fee for the arena and any indemnified damages, such as money the city already spent to prepare for the convention that it hasn't been reimbursed for. 
Trump on Monday upended that when he threatened to pull the convention if North Carolina's Democratic governor will not ease stay-home restrictions and allow 'full attendance.'
The president is said to want a huge crowd in the Spectrum Center to see him accept the party's nomination for a second term.
Pence followed up on Trump's threat, saying the GOP might move to a state 'that is farther along on reopening and can say with confidence that, that we can gather there.' He mentioned progress in Texas, Georgia, and Florida, all states that are run by Republicans. 
Trump specifically had to deny speculation he was hatching a plan to move the convention to the Trump golf property in Doral, Florida – where he had previously planned to host the G7 meeting before backing down amid criticism.
'I have zero interest in moving the Republican National Convention to Doral in Miami, as falsely reported by the Fake News @nytimes in order to stir up trouble,' Trump wrote. 'Ballroom is not nearly big enough & would like to stay in N.C., whose gov. doesn't even know if he can let people in?.'
Trump was referencing a passage in a New York Times article last week about the GOP's plans to carry on with its convention and challenges it might experience. It said Trump 'has mused aloud to several aides about why the convention can't simply be held in a hotel ballroom in Florida, given all of the health concerns and the fact that Florida is further along in reopening portions of the state.' 
Florida has hosted the Republican National Convention on previous occasions; the 2012 gathering took place in Tampa
Florida has hosted the Republican National Convention on previous occasions; the 2012 gathering took place in Tampa
Trump has complained that Democratic Governors, such as Roy Cooper of North Carolina, are playing politics by delaying the reopenings in their states
Trump has complained that Democratic Governors, such as Roy Cooper of North Carolina, are playing politics by delaying the reopenings in their states
The Republican National Convention, where Trump will officially accept his party's nomination for a second term, is scheduled to begin Monday, August 24. 
Officials in both parties are pondering what their nomination conventions will look like as the coronavirus remains a consideration. 
Both parties are considering scaled back events. 
Political conventions bring thousands of people into a city, offering a boon to restaurants, hotels and other industries. Charlotte is expecting 50,000 for the August gathering.
But the mass of people would make socially distancing virtually impossible. And conventions are designed to be celebrations - parties take place in various locations around the host city each night, thousands of delegates and journalist gather in the convention center each evening, and the whole event is capped with a coronation ceremony, naming the party's nominee to music, cheering and a balloon drop. 
Cooper has North Carolina preparing to enter a limited phase 2 of reopening, which would limit gatherings to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors. Other states - like Florida - are further along in the reopening process.
Trump has previously complained Democrats will use the coronavirus to try and stop him from winning another term. He's specifically targeted Democratic governors in battleground states.
'They're playing politics, as you know, by delaying the openings,' he told the Washington Examiner  in an interview earlier this month. He's complained about the mail-in voting process, which he argues - without proof - increases the chances of voter fraud. He's threatened to with hold federal funds from some states that are preparing for a general election held by absentee voting.
But Monday President Trump issued a new threat, moving his party's convention. 
'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. Unfortunately, Democrat Governor, @RoyCooperNC is still in Shutdown mood & unable to guarantee that by August we will be allowed ... full attendance in the Arena,' Trump wrote.
'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. They must be immediately given an answer by the Governor as to whether or not the space will be allowed to be fully occupied,' Trump said, expanding on the threat.
'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. Thank you, and I LOVE the people of North Carolina!' Trump concluded.
Donald Trump threatened to withdraw the GOP convention set for August from the state
Donald Trump threatened to withdraw the GOP convention set for August from the state

Democrats are planning their own convention in Milwaukee, set to begin August 17. Originally set for July, they delayed it until later in the summer, and are making contingencies for a virtual convention. 
North Carolina is a key electoral prize. Trump holds a single-point lead in the RealClearPolitics average. 
Conventions are planned more than a year in advance, and moving such a large undertaking, while securing enough hotel space for delegates, global media, and Secret Service, amid a pandemic would be a major logistical challenge.
The RNC inked contracts with Charlotte in 2018 that make it exceedingly hard to back out, even in the event Trump decided he wanted to go through with his threat to walk away from a key battleground state. 
'State health officials are working with the R.N.C. and will review its plans as they make decisions about how to hold the convention in Charlotte. North Carolina is relying on data and science to protect our state's public health and safety,' Cooper's press secretary, Dory MacMillan, wrote on Twitter.
RNC rules state that the convention must be conducted in person, and the convention would have to meet to change the rules.  
Donald Trump gives North Carolina governor a week to make him an offer on the GOP convention as red states start bidding to host party's August gathering after president threats to remove it from Charlotte Donald Trump gives North Carolina governor a week to make him an offer on the GOP convention as red states start bidding to host party's August gathering after president threats to remove it from Charlotte Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 01:50 Rating: 5

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