The convention controversy heated up today with President Donald Trump throwing down an ultimatum,
President Trump on Tuesday said the governor of North Carolina must decide within a week whether the GOP can host its full convention in CharlotteThe Hill
Governor Roy Cooper responded to Trump’s comments at his daily press briefings,
“I’m not surprised by anything that I see on Twitter,” Cooper said in response to Trump’s tweets. “It is OK for political conventions to be political, but pandemic response cannot be.”Carolina Journal
What’s not surprising to learn is that the RNC and Charlotte were already having conversations about how COVID-19 restrictions could limit the convention. What is unclear, is if Trump’s comments were done to speed up the conversation or derail it. The Charlotte Observer has staked out a position on this and thinks the city should call the President’s bluff,
We think he should give the president an answer. Call his bluff. Say no to a guarantee. Maybe it causes Trump to back down for a while. Or, even better, it might prompt the president to move the convention. That could be the best outcome – or at least the safest – for Charlotte.Charlotte Observer
Andy Taylor NC State says this is all politically and in the end is a moot argument. He points out that by the end of August the state should be completely open regardless of how slow Cooper chooses to open. It’s hard to know what Trump’s motivation is here. Maybe Trump wanted a fight with Cooper in the hopes of helping Lt Governor Dan Forest score some points or maybe Trump wants the convention to move to a state with a more friendly governor, or maybe, in a very Trump like fashion, Trump did something without thinking and there is no long term strategy. Either way, I guess we will have our answer in a week.