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Governors of Florida and Georgia express interest in hosting Republican National Convention

National conventions uncertain amid pandemic
National conventions uncertain amid pandemic 10:28

President Trump spoke about the threat he tweeted Monday to move the Republican National Convention from Charlotte, North Carolina, to another state, unless the state's governor allows the convention to take place at full capacity.

"When the people come down they're going to have the doors open," Mr. Trump said Tuesday at a White House event on diabetes. He told reporters, "I don't want to have it where we get there, and they announce after all the money was spent, all the work was done, all the people travel in, 'Guess what, you can't put anybody in the arena,' or 'You can put a tiny number of people in the arena.'"

"We have to know before we spend millions and millions on an arena," he said, adding, "When the people come down they're going to have the doors open."

"I would say within a week that certainly we have to know," the president said, in response to a question about how soon he and the GOP would need an answer.

After President Trump made the threat on Monday, the governors of Florida and Georgia expressed interest in hosting the Republican National Convention in August.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a Republican, told reporters on Tuesday that he would "love" to host either the Republican or the Democratic National Convention.

"In terms of the RNC, Florida would love to have the RNC. Heck, I'm a Republican, it'd be good for us to have the DNC in terms of the, in terms of the economic impact when you talk about major events like that," DeSantis said. "So the door is open, we want to have the conversation, whether it's RNC, DNC, whatever, because I think it would be good for the people of Florida."

DeSantis also said he had "let folks at the White House know that we want to work with them" regarding the location of the convention.

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, also a Republican, urged the president to consider Georgia as an option in a tweet on Tuesday.

"With world-class facilities, restaurants, hotels, and workforce, Georgia would be honored to safely host the Republican National Convention. We hope you will consider the Peach State, @realdonaldtrump!" Kemp wrote.

Both DeSantis and Kemp were advocates to reopen their states early amid the pandemic. Mr. Trump initially said in April that he "strongly disagreed" with Kemp's decision to reopen, but since then, Vice President Mike Pence called the state's reopening "an example to the nation."

Cooper has moved the state into its second phase of reopening, easing restrictions on hair salons on restaurants, but he has kept indoor entertainment and sports venues closed. The president expressed his disapproval on Twitter.

"I love the Great State of North Carolina, so much so that I insisted on having the Republican National Convention in Charlotte at the end of August. Unfortunately, Democrat Governor, @RoyCooperNC is still in Shutdown mood & unable to guarantee that by August we will be allowed...full attendance in the Arena," Mr. Trump wrote Monday.

"[Republicans] must be immediately given an answer by the Governor as to whether or not the space will be allowed to be fully occupied. If not, we will be reluctantly find, with all of the jobs and economic development it brings, another Republican National Convention site," Mr. Trump continued.

A spokesperson for Cooper said in a statement on Monday that "state health officials are working with the RNC and will review its plans as they make decisions about how to hold the convention in Charlotte."

"North Carolina is relying on data and science to protect our state's public health and safety," the statement continued.

The convention is scheduled for August 24-27. North Carolina reported 24,000 new coronavirus cases Monday.

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