President Trump on Monday threatened to yank the Republican National Convention from Charlotte, N.C., where it is scheduled to be held in August, accusing the state’s Democratic governor of being in a “shutdown mood” that could prevent a fully attended event.
The president tweeted that he had “LOVE” for North Carolina, a swing state that he won in 2016, but he added that without a “guarantee” from the governor, Roy Cooper, “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.”
Mr. Trump wrote that if Mr. Cooper did not provide an answer “immediately,” he would “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.”
Separately, in an interview on “Fox & Friends,” Vice President Mike Pence said that without guarantees from North Carolina, Republicans might need to move the convention to a state further along in the reopening process.
The New York Times reported last week that Republicans were quietly discussing the possibility of a pared-down convention. Mr. Trump has wondered aloud to several aides why the convention can’t be held in a hotel ballroom in Florida, a state with a Republican governor that is further along in relaxing restrictions related to the coronavirus.
Republicans are contractually bound by a 2018 agreement to hold the convention in Charlotte. But Mr. Cooper and Vi Lyles, the mayor of Charlotte, have said they will let health experts determine whether the convention can be safely held from Aug. 24 to 27.
Ms. Lyles has said her primary concern is the city’s “vulnerable populations” who could fall ill from the virus.
Even before Monday, Mr. Trump made clear that he would blame Mr. Cooper and Ms. Lyles, who is also a Democrat, if the convention is altered or modified.