Georgia would be glad to host GOP convention, governor tells Trump
Tuesday, May 26, 2020
Georgia’s governor is offering his state and its “world-class facilities” as host of the Republican National Convention.
It happened a day after President Donald Trump threatened to pull the convention out of North Carolina if that state’s Democratic governor didn’t assure Trump that the August gathering can go forward despite coronavirus fears.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican, sent an open plea to Trump on Tuesday to consider his state as an alternate site for the quadrennial convention, which is set to gather more than 2,500 delegates and thousands more guests, press and security officials.
Plans have been underway for more than a year to hold the convention in Charlotte, but Trump and national Republican officials have expressed concerns that local officials may not allow gatherings of that size during the pandemic.
“With world-class facilities, restaurants, hotels, and workforce, Georgia would be honored to safely host the Republican National Convention," Kemp tweeted Tuesday. “We hope you will consider the Peach State, @realDonaldTrump!
Over the weekend, Trump complained that North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper was “unable to guarantee that by August we will be allowed full attendance in the arena.”
He added that Republicans “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.”
Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel said the president “is right to ask for assurances from North Carolina” about the convention.
Trump said Monday he would like to keep the Aug. 24-27 Republican National Convention in Charlotte.
Trump responded to reports by the New York Times that the president has expressed interest in moving the convention to Miami. The president has denied that claim.
“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...” Trump tweeted.
North Carolina is currently under a Phase 2 of reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic, which limits indoor gatherings to 10 people. Phase 2 is expected to be in effect until June 26, but it’s unclear what restrictions will be place beyond that.
The convention was expected to bring nearly 50,000 people to the city.
A spokesperson for North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said state health officials are working with the RNC on plans for the convention.
Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles said the health and safety of residents and visitors remain the priority.
Other city officials cast doubt on whether the RNC would be able to find a new host city only three months away from the convention.
“I think it would be quite a tall task,” Charlotte City Councilman Larken Egleston said.
“Years of planning go into each of one of these conventions and to ask a new host city to pull it together in three months would be difficult.”