North Carolina's Democratic governor is the target of Trump's convention push

Jeff Swensen  Getty Images

Jeff Swensen Getty Images

President Trump on Monday denied any suggestion that he might want to hold this summer's Republican National Convention at his resort in Doral, Fla., following his threat to move the convention from North Carolina if that state's governor can't guarantee the party will be allowed "full attendance" at the event.

Demanding an answer on whether Republicans would be able to move forward with a fully-attended convention in August, Trump said that if North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, could not commit to the allowance, the RNC would be reluctantly forced to move the convention and "all of the jobs and economic development it brings" to another state.

"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", the U.S. president wrote.

In March, Cooper issued an executive order banning gatherings of more than 100 people.

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North Carolina on May 22 moved into phase two of Cooper's reopening plan.

The Republican National Convention is slated for August 24 to August 27 at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte.

Before Monday, Cooper and Trump had yet to publicly spar during the pandemic.

Cooper, who narrowly beat an incumbent Republican in 2016 while Trump won the state, faces a challenge in November's gubernatorial race from Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, who has urged a faster reopening of state businesses.

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He continued, "But what you're hearing the president say today is just a very reasonable request of the governor of North Carolina".

While Las Vegas had also been in the running to host the event, the city's Convention and Visitors Authority reportedly overruled local Republicans officials' efforts to see the RNC held there. She said at the time that the RNC has enlisted a medical adviser and that the party was consulting with the Charlotte mayor and the governor.

But Cal Cunningham, the Democratic nominee for the Senate seat, countered that the state should adhere to public health experts' recommendations. Asked about preparations to safely host the RNC, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said increasing testing capacity is important. "It's a matter of what it looks like", the United States senator Thom Tillis, a North Carolina Republican who is up for re-election in 2020, told the Charlotte Observer last week. "We love North Carolina", Pence said.

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