RNC Votes To Conduct Only Official Convention Business In Charlotte

Jun 4, 2020

RALEIGH — President Donald Trump won't accept his party's nomination in North Carolina, but the Republican National Committee confirmed Thursday that it would still hold meetings in Charlotte.

“The RNC’s Executive Committee has voted unanimously to allow the official business of the national convention to continue in Charlotte," said a statement from Michael Ahrens, the RNC's communications director. "Many other cities are eager to host the president’s acceptance of the nomination, and we are currently in talks with several of them to host that celebration.”

A statement issued by the city of Charlotte said: "What those intentions mean in terms of the number of visitors coming to Charlotte, the length of time and the amount of space needed to properly host the business portion of the convention is unclear with the RNC representatives agreeing to provide the parties with further information as their plans continue to develop."  

Republican officials visited Nashville on Thursday and plan to tour other major cities in the coming days. The RNC's top considerations to host Trump include Orlando, Florida; Jacksonville, Florida; New Orleans, Dallas and Phoenix.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis criticized North Carolina for adopting what he considers a “default no” to hosting the convention at full capacity.

“My view would be it should be a default yes, and then as we get closer, you can make determinations on how you do it," DeSantis told reporters Wednesday.

For the last week, the national party has sought to placate Trump with reassurances he'll be able to speak to a full capacity crowd, while simultaneously working to uphold its agreement with the city of Charlotte.

The city has already spent $14 million prepping for the convention, which it expects to get reimbursed through a grant. City Attorney Patrick Baker told reporters Wednesday he expected the RNC to keep its convention in Charlotte because he believes all other parties have held up their end of the bargain thus far.

GOP convention leaders met with Charlotte officials on Thursday to discuss how they will all proceed.

Gov. Roy Cooper, D-N.C., has fought with Trump privately and publicly by refusing to commit to lifting terms of an executive order he signed limiting indoor gatherings to 10 people. By Tuesday night, Trump tweeted that Cooper's inaction “forced” him to speak elsewhere.

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Anderson reported from Raleigh. Associated Press writer Brendan Farrington in Tallahassee, Florida, contributed to this report.