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North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper in 2018. Photo: Sara D. Davis/Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Tuesday night that because of ongoing coronavirus restrictions in North Carolina, the Republican Party will be "forced to seek another state" to host its convention in August.

The big picture: The late-night tweet came after North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) told convention organizers earlier Tuesday that Republicans should plan for a "scaled-down convention with fewer people, social distancing and face coverings" given the impact of the pandemic.

  • Trump had previously threatened to move the August convention from Charlotte if Cooper, a Democrat, does not allow the event to be held at full capacity.
  • "Governor Cooper is still in Shelter-In-Place Mode, and not allowing us to occupy the arena as originally anticipated and promised. Would have showcased beautiful North Carolina to the World, and brought in hundreds of millions of dollars, and jobs, for the State," Trump tweeted Tuesday.
  • "Because of @NC_Governor, we are now forced to seek another State to host the 2020 Republican National Convention."

Background: North Carolina's health and human services secretary asked the RNC in late May for clarification about how it plans to hold the convention and whether it would honor Trump's wish to host the event without requiring social distancing or face masks.

  • The RNC outlined proposed safety protocols, including requiring all attendees to have thermal scans before taking sanitized, pre-arranged transportation to the venue. Organizers said it would also require attendees to pass a health check before entering the convention arena.
  • The RNC stated in a letter that it does not have "solid guidelines from the State and cannot in good faith, ask thousands of visitors to begin paying deposits and making travel plans without knowing the full commitment of the Governor, elected officials and other stakeholders in supporting the Convention."

What they're saying: "We still want a safe RNC convention in Charlotte that follows the health guidelines set forth in the interim guidance regarding mass gatherings," Cooper wrote in Tuesday's letter. "In my conversation with the President, I commended him for not holding crowded political rallies since March because of the serious health risk that they would cause."

  • "The people of North Carolina do not know what the status of COVID-19 will be in August," Cooper noted.
  • "We are happy to continue talking with you about what a scaled-down convention
    would look like and we still await your proposed plan for that."

RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel wrote later on Tuesday that Cooper is "dragging his feet," adding, "We have an obligation to our delegates and nominee to begin visiting the multiple cities and states who have reached out in recent days about hosting an historic event..."

  • The New York Times reports the RNC is actively looking at other sites, including a planned visit to Nashville this week.

Go deeper

The most viral 2020 national convention stories

Data: NewsWhip; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

The most viral stories about the Republican convention were largely about non-political speakers, while the Democratic convention stories focused on the political leaders who were the official stars of the convention, according to exclusive data from NewsWhip.

Why it matters: The GOP convention in particular highlighted how speakers from outside of the political arena who haven't been bloodied and bruised by political fights were most effective at setting social media on fire.

Aug 29, 2020 - Politics & Policy

What's next for Joe Biden after Democratic National Convention

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios; Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Joe Biden’s calculation is clear: he wants to scare the hell out of America about four more years of President Trump and keep the camera, focus and media trained on his opponent, not himself.

Why it matters: Biden said this week he plans a partial return to the road after Labor Day, with targeted visits to swing states — but strictly within the guidelines of safe crowd sizes, social distancing and guidance from scientists and public health officials.

Axios-SurveyMonkey poll: Trump trades bounce for a hit to Biden

Trump with his family after giving his convention speech on the South Lawn of the White House. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Trump didn’t make himself more appealing to voters during the Republican National Convention, but he did hurt Joe Biden, a new Axios-SurveyMonkey poll finds.

Why it matters: Trump dedicated much of his convention messaging to trying to try scare voters about Biden, charging that he'd allow leftist radicals to drive Democrats' agenda and urban protesters to unravel the suburbs.