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Trump in a Showdown with NC Governor Over Republican National Convention

05-26-2020
President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting about the coronavirus response. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting about the coronavirus response. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Trump is threatening to pull the Republican National Convention out of North Carolina. That's if Democrat Gov. Roy Cooper can't quickly guarantee full attendance will be allowed inside the Spectrum Center – Charlotte's Sports Arena.

The president had tweeted his demands to know about the convention on Monday.

Now a city councilman in Charlotte, NC is telling President Trump to forget about it, saying the Republican convention can't be held as planned. 

"There's no way for the governor at this point to say he could have an arena full of people or that Charlotte could have 50,000 people coming into town for any event," Charlotte City Councilman Larken Egleston told CNN. "And frankly, I think the only thing you can say definitively is that wouldn't be responsible three months from now."

Egleston says President Trump must recognize the unavoidable changes that await if the convention is held in North Carolina.

"If we're going to host this convention, it's going to have to look very different than we thought it was going to, and the President should acknowledge that," Egleston added.

The convention is expected to bring tens of thousands of visitors to the city on Aug. 24-27. 

Right now, North Carolina's entertainment centers remain closed as the state enters phase two of reopening. It's also experiencing its highest spike in cases since the pandemic started.

On the Democrat side, the presumptive nominee former Vice President Joe Biden said it's "hard to envision" an in-person Democratic National Convention taking place this year, as originally planned.

"The fact is, it may have to be different," Biden said.

Biden spokesman, Bill Russo explained that the campaign is hesitant to make a firm decision over the convention until more data is made available on the pandemic. 

"We are considering a variety of formats for this to take place, but we are certain that in the end it will capture the enthusiasm and spirit that we have to making Donald Trump a one-term president and transforming our country," Russo said.

Joe Solmonese, the chief executive of the Democratic National Convention highlighted there are still many uncertainties and he will continue to be open about the process.

"I can understand why people are more drawn to a message that gives a sense that trouble is behind us and the show must go on, but we have been and will always be transparent and honest with people about our planning," he told the New York Times.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett says he will continue to pursue plans for the convention to take place during the week of August 17. 

"I can't be distracted by the naysayer's who say, 'let's just throw in the towel, because I'm not throwing in the towel," Barrett said. "We know that the Democrats are going to nominate a presidential candidate, Joe Biden, and that's going to happen in Milwaukee. And I am going to do whatever I can to make that a success."

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