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Trump cancels Republican convention in Jacksonville, Florida

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  • After blowing up the initial plans for the Republican National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., President Donald Trump withdrew his plans for a MAGA-rally version in Jacksonville, Fla.
  • The Trump campaign had been going full steam ahead for a packed crowd to see Trump speak in Jacksonville, but Florida’s skyrocketing COVID-19 cases and mounting deaths ultimately became the ceremony’s undoing.
  • “I looked at my team and said, the timing for this event is not right … to have a big convention is not the right time,” Trump said during the coronavirus briefing early Thursday evening.
  • “I’ll still do a convention speech in a different form, but we won’t do a big convention speech, per se.”
  • A Republican familiar with the planning told Insider Trump’s decision is a “good move,” adding that it came today with no advance notice to the GOP.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump announced Thursday that the modified Republican National Convention in Jacksonville, Fla. for next month has been cancelled.

A Republican familiar with the planning described Trump’s decision to Insider as a “good move,” adding that it came today with no advance notice to the party.

“I looked at my team and said, the timing for this event is not right … to have a big convention is not the right time,” Trump said during the coronavirus briefing early Thursday evening.

“I’ll still do a convention speech in a different form, but we won’t do a big convention speech, per se.”

“We’ll have a very nice something,” Trump added. “We’ll figure it out.”

 

The source familiar with convention planning told Insider that the decision came as the Trump campaign began to finally grasp how bad the coronavirus is, adding it’s “politically best for him to veer toward the public health need and demonstrate responsible leadership.”

Earlier in the pandemic, Trump pressured the North Carolina officials to roll back their bans on large gatherings to accommodate the biggest crowd possible for the initial plan to have the convention in Charlotte. 

Trump pulled the convention from North Carolina in early June.

The party ultimately settled for a hybrid convention split between Charlotte and Jacksonville, with the former having the usual business for the Republican Party and the latter featuring a MAGA rally type of event that could accommodate crowds, under the blessing of Florida’s Republican governor, Ron DeSantis.

Trump added during the briefing that no changes will be made to the official business set to be conducted in Charlotte from Aug. 24-27.

Trump’s acceptance speech in Jacksonville was supposed to take place on Aug. 27. The new date and venue are currently unconfirmed.

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