JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The disappointing news was still setting in Friday for supporters of President Trump and anyone who was excited about the Republican National Convention happening in Jacksonville.
The president canceled the Jacksonville portion of the event on Thursday, and after his decision, Mayor Lenny Curry addressed the national media, making stops on Fox News, MSNBC and CNN.
“We were communicating our caseloads and hospitalizations to the president, White House, RNC. President Trump made the right decision yesterday, as we knew he would, in the best interest in the health of the people of Jacksonville,” Curry said on Fox.
Curry acknowledged his disappointment but supported the decision from Washington.
We were hearing the delegates were excited, they wanted to be here,” Curry said. “We wanted the president here. We wanted to help get a shot to our businesses after going through COVID.”
City Council held a virtual meeting Friday, where, until the president’s announcement, leaders planned to discuss emergency legislation for funding the RNC.
Council President Tommy Hazouri was clearly relieved.
“We were certainly walking on thin ice the whole time, but we made it to the end of the pond,” Hazouri said. “I think it ended up, like I said, a happy ending for Republicans and Democrats and above all the citizens of Jacksonville.”
Disappointment is the word for business owners like George Birnbaum. His video production company hoped to see big dollars from the RNC, and he’s trying to look on the bright side.
“At least they made an attempt, an effort to try and pull something off that, quite frankly, [had] never been done before,” Birnbaum said.
A small subset of GOP delegates will still formally renominate Trump on Aug. 24 in Charlotte, North Carolina, at an event scheduled to last just four hours.