MCDANIEL: Charlotte Convention move lies at Gov. Cooper’s feet

Ronna McDaniel, the chair of the Republican National Committee, speaks during the RNC winter meeting at the Trump National Doral Resort in Miami, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. (Matias J. Ocner/Miami Herald via AP)

When we at the Republican National Committee were considering possible cities to host our Party’s 2020 Convention, Charlotte immediately stood out in our minds. 

A crown jewel of the South, the Queen City’s attractions, amenities, and world-class facilities, combined with President Trump’s love for the people of North Carolina, convinced us that Charlotte would make an ideal location to re-nominate President Trump and Vice President Pence as our Party’s standard bearers.

For over a year now, our convention team on the ground had been working closely with the Charlotte community, and even as our country was in the throes of the coronavirus crisis, our commitment to the people of Charlotte was to be with them through thick and thin. 

That’s why, recognizing the unique challenges posed by holding a major party convention in the wake of a global pandemic, we proactively put plans in place to ensure the convention would be safe for all attendees.

This included temperature checks, instituting covid-19 testing both before and after the convention, having masks available, and regularly sanitizing public areas.

In recent days however, it became clear that despite us working in a spirit of cooperation and goodwill, Governor Roy Cooper was refusing to give us the assurances we would need to host our convention as planned.

Given Governor Cooper’s refusal to work with us, this week we were forced to make the difficult decision to move all convention-related celebrations elsewhere.

While the convention will still be held in Charlotte as planned, all convention-related celebrations, including President Trump’s acceptance speech, will now take place in Jacksonville in the president’s home state of Florida.

This isn’t a decision any of us wanted to have to make, and one we never should have had to.

Our team was in constant communication with the Governor’s office, working to find a way to safely host convention-related activities in Charlotte.

Unfortunately, Governor Cooper continued to drag his feet and play politics with the situation, putting his political interests ahead of the interests of his own constituents.

Governor Cooper’s enthusiasm to cheer on mass demonstrations in his state’s capital compared to his unwillingness to welcome a pro-Trump crowd to Charlotte only seems to confirm the political double-standard that exists in so much of the media and Democrat Party politics today.

This is unfortunate for North Carolinians of all political stripes.

Having President Trump’s acceptance speech take place in Charlotte in front of thousands of proud patriots would have  shone a positive spotlight for all of America to see on what was clear to us long ago – that Charlotte is a great place to live, work, and raise a family.

While we share the people of Charlotte’s disappointment at this development, we are still keeping our contractual commitment to the city by holding the convention there.

The people of Charlotte can still take pride in the fact that they will host the nomination of President Trump and Vice President Pence, a task that speaks to the vitality of our American experiment in liberty and self-government.

Ultimately, no matter where President Trump’s acceptance speech takes place, the people of Charlotte along with all of America will see for themselves that he is the man for this moment and the strong leader our country needs.

As we transition to greatness, North Carolinians know that President Trump is fighting for them, something he will continue to do after they re-elect him to a second term in November.

Ronna McDaniel is he Republican National Committee chairwoman