One of Trump’s new favorite congressmen, Florida Rep Michael Waltz, has raised the option of moving the Republican National Convention to Jacksonville, Florida, as Trump whined about North Carolina’s social distancing order making a traditional convention nearly impossible.
“Hey, Mr. President, Florida will roll out the red carpet for you,” Waltz said he told Trump when the president returned his call Sunday. “We’re excited to have you for the launch. We had you for the reelect rally, which was just phenomenal. And we would love to have the RNC convention. Orlando and Jacksonville are both in my district. I’m from Jacksonville, so I’m a tiny bit biased.”
Some Republicans say such a move would be difficult after contracts have been signed in North Carolina, and the risk of having thousands of people mingling looms.
Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis are in support of the idea as an economic boost. Waltz says everyone would have to “follow the guidelines,” but sees Florida as a must-win state for Trump.
While Trump owns property in the southern Florida area of Doral and Palm Beach, both are democratic strongholds and have had higher rates of infection.
A Northeast Florida Republican who didn’t want to be identified said that there is a low chance that the convention would be moved to Jacksonville.
“We’re told the contracts are signed in North Carolina and there’s a low chance of this happening in Jacksonville,” the official said. “We’ll take it. But we’ll also help the president force a Democrat governor to honor his commitments and hear the howls of hoteliers and businesses in Charlotte who desperately need the money. Either way, we win. Trump wins.”
Waltz says he’s serious, and that if North Carolina is sticking to strict lockdowns, he is continuing to push for a convention in Florida.
See this story at Politico.