Trump says he'll accept his Republican nomination somewhere in North Carolina, keeps suspense about Charlotte
The president has been forced to scrap plans to hold his portion of the event in Charlotte and Jacksonville because of spiking coronavirus cases
President Donald Trump is yet to confirm a venue for his Republican National Convention (RNC) speech on August 27 but has given an indication that it could still happen in North Carolina. The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has hit Trump’s re-election campaign plan so badly that he had to drop his plan to hold his portion of the big event both in Charlotte in North Carolina and Jacksonville, Florida. More than 4.3 million people in the US have tested positive for Covid-19 while nearly 150,000 have died.
In June, Trump was forced to shift his portion of the RNC from Charlotte after NC’s Democratic Governor Roy Cooper refused to cooperate over the state’s serious coronavirus situation. But last week, he had to call off even the ‘convention celebration’ in Jacksonville as cases in Florida also spiked.
“So I told my team it's time to cancel the Jacksonville, Florida component of the GOP convention,” Trump said at his press briefing last week. “And I'll still do a convention speech in a different form, but we won’t do a big, crowded convention per say. It's just not the right time for that.”
The media is now curious to know where Trump eventually delivers his acceptance speech for the presidential nomination for the November 3 election. Traditionally, the candidate accepts his or her party’s nomination at the end of the convention which is scheduled between August 24 and 27 this year.
The Monday (August 24) part of the RNC -- when the delegates nominate Trump -- will take place in Charlotte, it is still not certain where the president will make his own speech for he is noncommittal to bring the entire thing back to NC after his differences with Cooper, a Democrat. “We'll be doing a speech on Thursday - the main speech, the primary speech,” Trump said when asked about the convention speech by a reporter from Reuters on Tuesday, July 28. “Charlotte they will be doing nominating on Monday, that’s a different period, a different thing happening.”
“I speak on Thursday, OK?” he said, then adding that the final venue would be announced soon.
Trump recently said he will be in NC for nomination
The president said in an interview with NBC affiliate WRAL during his visit to North Carolina on Monday, July 27, that he will accept the Republican presidential nomination somewhere in the Tar Heel State.
“..all I know is I'll be in North Carolina, and that's a very big deal because we have a lot of the delegates there, and that will be a nomination process. And that's essentially where the nomination, where's formalized and I'm really honored to do it in North Carolina,” he told interviewer David Cabtree. “We have a lot of the delegates [in Charlotte] and that’ll be a nomination process. And that’s essentially where the nomination is formalized,” he added.
Trump’s return to the campaign trail in June did not go well as his rally in Tulsa on June 20 failed to attract many people and his campaign team faced the wrath. Brad Parscale was demoted as the campaign chief and was replaced by Bill Stepien subsequently. Another of Trump’s scheduled campaign rally in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, was canceled, though the campaign cited inclement weather as the reason.
Trump welcome but NC still stresses on health first, says Gov Cooper
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Cooper addressed speculation that Trump was welcome in NC for the portion of the RNC that is scheduled to take place as planned but the administration’s priorities (health) have not changed. A small group of GOP delegates will gather in Charlotte for four hours on August 24. He also said that he has not received any notice from either the RNC or Trump administration about the change of venue for the acceptance speech.
“We have not heard anything from the administration or the RNC about this. Obviously we would have concerns about people coming in and about a large crowd, but we’ll continue to keep health and safety number one in this process,” Cooper said.