How Cooper should respond to Trump’s mad convention rant

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

It will probably be a difficult task given the political realities that accompany demands issued by the President of the United States, but Gov. Roy Cooper should, if at all possible, ignore yesterday’s Trump tantrum about the planned GOP convention in Charlotte this summer.

As you’ve probably heard by now, King Donald decreed that he would remove the convention from the Queen City (probably to light in some Trump-owned property in Florida) unless Cooper guarantees that it will be allowed to proceed with “full attendance” — i.e. without any of those pesky limitations on attendance that have been made necessary for large gatherings as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the Charlotte Observer reported, Trump tweeted the following:

“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,” Trump wrote on Twitter.

“In other words, 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. Plans are being made by many thousands of enthusiastic Republicans, and others, to head to beautiful North Carolina in August.

“They 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 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. Thank you, and I LOVE the people of North Carolina!”

Cooper’s office responded diplomatically later in the evening by saying:
“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.”

Let’s hope Cooper (as well as Charlotte leaders and all other North Carolinians who care about public health) stick to this responsible stance. There could be significant progress in combating the pandemic between now and then, but it’s hard to see how bringing thousands of unmasked conventioneers to North Carolina’s largest city to hang out in close quarters for a week just 90 days from now is not going to pose a serious threat to public health. In any event, we hardly know for sure at this point.

And for what purpose? To serve as a studio audience for a reality TV show with a foregone conclusion — the latest self-coronation of a nattering and narcissistic nabob who probably can’t name three cities in North Carolina?

Honestly, political conventions have become obsolete anyway. Yes, it would be nice to bring some business to Charlotte at a time when the economy is struggling, but given Trump’s long track record, he and his minions will probably stiff us for for many of the bills associated with the event anyway.

The bottom line: Tt’s hard to see how the whole thing is worth the risk. Cooper should, at a minimum, stick to his guns.


  1. Susan McCamish

    May 26, 2020 at 7:22 am

    ‘…nattering and narcissistic nabob…’ !!! Perfect!

    Just wondering if there are any polls on this issue that you know of.

  2. Raina Kranz

    May 26, 2020 at 8:25 am

    What ever Governor Copper decides I am good with. He will do the right thing.

  3. Teresa Hauser

    May 26, 2020 at 8:48 am

    I agree absolutely.

  4. Sue Perkins

    May 26, 2020 at 8:49 am

    Financial collapse is 100% real. Covid 19 isn’t even close!
    Imagine the Economic boost with that many people staying in
    Hotels, eating in nice Restaurants, rental cars, taxis and so many
    other services.
    Charlotte probably hasn’t been.hit as bad as most cities but the
    Entire state could use the help.
    Also calling attention to Vacation and Tourism opportunities in
    Our Beautiful State!

  5. Keith Allen

    May 26, 2020 at 9:10 am

    Won’t it be “interesting” if the Rig-a-tarians relocate their show to, say, Atlanta, or Tampa, or Miami in the midst of a “second wave?”

  6. T. Gray

    May 26, 2020 at 9:24 am

    My hope is that Governor Cooper will continue to “rely on data and science to protect our state’s public health and safety.” What good comes from employing the thousands of people necessary for the convention, to only have this virus spread even more rampantly as a result? I fall back on the old adage, “you’re either part of the problem or part of the solution.”

  7. Patricia

    May 26, 2020 at 9:34 am

    We do not need thousands of people from all over the country coming to NC for the RNC. Not only can these folks bring the pandemic to Charlotte which has already been hard hit, but the our citizens most at risk will be poorly paid and uninsured people in the hospitality industry!
    Trump has made it clear that masks can’t be required and the alcohol use that comes with these big events will not be compatible with social distancing.
    Our Governor has done a good job during this pandemic. Hopefully he won’t be swayed by loss of revenue for Charlotte from cancellations of the RNC.
    Charlotte residents don’t deserve being forced to take this risk,

  8. Jody

    May 26, 2020 at 10:01 am

    First off Governor Cooper is following FEDERAL GUIDELINE, which were set by Trump to begin with. so Trump wants Cooper to defy them. Second Governor Cooper has an obligation to protect the people who put him in office and do what is good for NC not Trump. I would like to see another state welcome the RNC, knowing what is at stake. Trump is a child and needs to be handled like one. Can’t give in to tantrums and keep spoiling the child. I have confidence in Mr. Cooper to do the right thing.

  9. Monique

    May 26, 2020 at 10:18 am

    Just keep in mind it’s not just the North Carolinian’s that will be in attendance but people from all around bringing what ever virus they have. Those same people choosing to ignore the guidelines of social distancing and wearing masks will be in attendance. If you open it up, it’s going to be like a heard of cows going in the there. I’m prayerful and confident that the decision remains scientific and data driven and based on that alone it unlikely that it will happen. I don’t see a way to social distance, make it mandatory for masks and sanitize effectively and hold the event.

  10. Ann Rooker

    May 26, 2020 at 10:50 am

    I’m a registered republican but I’m not for the person king trump is or impressed. That being said, if Cooper goes along with the BS I won’t be voting for him either. I know I have only 1 vote. It is ALL political! All these people who died will do so in vane if America doesn’t stand up to this want-to-be dictator. We are going to have another civil war with people dying over the crap this president has has laid on Americans.

  11. Gayle Grigson

    May 26, 2020 at 11:12 am

    I agree with letting science lead us. This is just Trump’s latest effort to bad mouth a Democratic governor for following Federal guidelines ?? How bout we at lest wait 2-3 weeks and see what damage all the Memorial Day “safe re-openings” have wrought.
    No one can predict what will be happening in 3 months, but Trump can grab a headline now and throw shade on a Democratic governor trying to do the right thing.

  12. Ann

    May 26, 2020 at 11:22 am

    Insisted, my ass. If memory serves, no one else wanted them. At least Governor Cooper cares about the health of the people in NC, which is more than I can say about trump. I’m sure he feels that cancelling would show weakness, and would mean another sign where that the virus is doing more winning than him!

  13. Anne

    May 26, 2020 at 1:26 pm

    If trump wants to threaten Governor Cooper, he should be man enough to call him up . If I were Cooper, I would not respond to a silly tweet.

  14. Cheryl

    May 26, 2020 at 2:27 pm

    Take a pass on the convention altogether. I stand with Governor Roy Cooper!

  15. Rich

    May 26, 2020 at 3:35 pm

    Charlotte is a hot spot for C-19 and has been for some time. I am certain the Governor will make the best decision based on science and health/safety issues, as he has demonstrated great leadership during this pandemic.

  16. Rana

    May 26, 2020 at 6:29 pm

    God bless you Governor Cooper!!!
    You people are crazy!! Trump and Republican Governor of Florida is not allowing out of state people in Florida!!! You know why ???? So you do not bring disease there!!!
    Why would you pack a convention center in Charlotte North Carolina with out of state people?? To spread the virus and kill more of us? Just so he can have his damn rally? Take that crap to West Palm Beach, Florida!!! Trump is just trying to make Governor Cooper look bad when in reality, Cooper is the one with the brains

  17. Ann

    May 26, 2020 at 11:41 pm

    Trump is a megalomaniac. Power mad. Don’t give in to his threats.
    BTW I am a registered republican but I am going to change my affiliation. I cannot believe people actually believe anything he says.

  18. Dale

    May 27, 2020 at 8:40 am

    When you finally destroy everything and have absolutely no say in anything (you deserve it.) I have went to work every day on different job sites. Up to 100 people. No mask !!!!!!. How about the sheep wake up and get your immune system where it should be. If you need to use special precaution do so. Quarentine the sick not the healthy. No more stimulus.. Go back to work . Quit buying into leftist propaganda. Oh before you stupid I am a registered Independent.

  19. Judi

    May 27, 2020 at 11:17 am

    I’m with him – Governor Cooper, that is.
    I trust his judgment.

  20. Rosemarie Huffer

    May 27, 2020 at 1:44 pm

    I cant believe all you people are falling for Gov Roy Coopers and the left lies about Covid 19 the numbers are so fabricated if you weren’t so busy listening to fake news and were out and about you would see for yourselves our Hospitals are empty !!!!!!! I have spoken to many Doctors & Nurses they are in fear of losing their jobs no work . All of them are having to use up their PT time. Which might I add that Cooper wants to control the weak and frail!He is trying to put the mom & pop places out of business with lies.The media are bought and paid for and are trying to place fear in people.Italy has just confirmed that its and infection not a Virus and you need antibiotics .It attacks your system and causes blood clots to form .The worst thing you could do to a loved one is put them on a ventilator.

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