The Republican National Convention(RNC) has gone through choppy waters in recent months and the trend only seems to get worse. Trump announced the RNC would be moved to Jacksonville, Florida until the amount of covid-19 cases spiked and all Jacksonville events were canceled. The RNC clashed with North Carolina governor about the limit of people allowed in indoor gatherings and no clear resolution to the gathering issue has been confirmed. The choosing of North Carolina Republican delegates for the upcoming RNC had to be held in an online conference due to covid-19 concerns. It’s clear that decision- making for many convention related issues is in complete disarray due to the pandemic. The complete disarray has become even more evident with the newest controversial decision of not allowing press into the convention.
A spokesperson for the RNC has recently announced that no press will be allowed into the convention due to covid-19 concerns and this decision has confused many. To add to the confusion, a Republican National Committee official later chimed in and made a contradictory statement about this decision not being final. Nominating conventions are traditionally larger media events that bask in the attention, but this year could break that precedent. On top of the lack of media coverage the number of delegates will also be reduced, and proxy votes will be cast on the behalf of other delegates. Shrinking the convention significantly reduces the risk of covid-19 spread but breaking the previous precedent could have ramifications in the future. In response to recent news Trump has announced new plans regarding his RNC acceptance speech that has ruffled the feathers of many including members of his own party.
Trump recently announced that he considers the White House a possible place to give his acceptance speech and this move has raised serious questions. The main question brought up by this announcement is whether this move will violate the Hatch Act which forbids the use of government buildings for campaign activities. The GOP senator from South Dakota John Thune noted that, “anything you do on federal property would seem to be problematic” (cbsnews.com). Another issue with Trump’s plan is that White House staff can not be used to engage in political activity and forcing any government employee to work his event would land Trump in hot water legally. The White House has responded to these allegations by telling CBS News that, “The president is not subject to the Hatch Act” (cbsnews.com). RNC officials have not responded quickly to the White House response, but a response will likely come within the next week. The drama surrounding the RNC seems to have no end in sight.
Sources: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2020/08/01/gop-convention-vote-renominate-trump-held-private/5565766002/, https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/01/politics/rnc-charlotte-press/index.html, https://www.wbtv.com/2020/08/05/rnc-announces-health-protocols-official-convention-business-charlotte/, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/trump-deliver-republican-convention-speech-white-house-legal/, https://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/politics-government/article244668027.html, https://apnews.com/c3b0cd7beadf149da0672a000851a0d6