Pence Threatens Non Supporters During Botched Memorial Day Message

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On Monday — Memorial Day — President Donald Trump and his team decided to launch angry affronts against North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper (D) for daring to implement lockdown orders in his state amidst the spread of the Coronavirus, which has killed almost 100,000 Americans as of early Monday. Many states around the country have implemented these strict orders, but it’s consistently been Democratic leaders who the president and his team have targeted. This Monday morning, during an appearance on Fox & Friends, Vice President Mike Pence belligerently threatened to move the planned Republican National Convention unless Governor Cooper lifts lockdown orders.

Pence insisted to the hosts:

‘There are states around the country… that have made tremendous progress on reopening their communities and reopening their economies, and I think the president is absolutely intent on ensuring that as we see our nation continue to make steady progress on putting the Coronavirus epidemic in the past, that come this August we’ll be able to come together in a safe and responsible venue and renominate President Donald Trump for four more years. What you hear the president saying today is just a reasonable request of the governor of North Carolina.’

Watch below:

Pence talks like overcoming the Coronavirus is a matter of mustering some kind of fighting spirit rather than focusing on the public health demands that Trump has opted to so glibly dismiss over and over again.

As Pence indicates, Trump himself addressed the question of the location of the Republican National Convention, which is currently planned for August. Early Monday on Twitter, Trump insisted that the GOP “must be immediately given an answer by the Governor as to whether or not the space will be allowed to be fully occupied,” and he suggested that the governor is simply “still in Shutdown mood.” The implication that the shutdown order in North Carolina is some kind of plot to derail the Republican National Convention is, quite simply, ridiculous. Are all of the other states and countries that have imposed lockdown orders in on the plot too?

Incredibly, there’s an interesting caveat to the president’s self-confident ranting — Charlotte, North Carolina, was the only city that even submitted a bid to be the hosting city for the Republican National Convention in 2020.

As former Obama administration official Chris Lu put it:

Amusing that Trump is now threatening to pull the Republican National Convention from Charlotte. Apparently, it was the only city that submitted a bid. Good luck finding a new location with three months to go.’

Professor Daniel Drezner mockingly added:

‘I think it’s a great idea @realDonaldTrump to threaten a swing state with moving a convention that no epidemiologist would think is a good idea to hold. You should continue to issue empty threats to swing states until they transition to greatness!! #MAGA’

Republicans, to be sure, have good reasons to worry about the upcoming election. Polls consistently have presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden out ahead of Trump by significant margins. Barack Obama won North Carolina in 2008, but then Mitt Romney won the state in 2012, and Trump did in 2016.