Before settling on Sarasota, Florida, for a July 3 rally and fireworks display, former President Donald Trump had sought to hold a rally at the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park in Spanish Fort, Alabama.
“After the request was made, then there was contact with the Republican Party, they contacted us and then it became apparent that it was going to be a partisan political event, rather than just a patriotic event planned for that evening,” park commission chairman Bill Tunnell told NBC-15 News in Alabama.
The USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park is a Veterans Memorial. The U.S. military has become increasingly wary of politicization of the armed services, perhaps raising concerns of a Make America Great Again rally hosted by Trump.
The state park was used for a 2012 rally by presidential hopeful Rick Santorum, Tunnell told NBC-15.
“Rick Santorum was the straw that broke the camel’s back, and that’s when the commission went to the no partisan politics open to the public,” Tunnell said.
Conservative Tea Party activist Pete Riehm noted it was more Trump than politics that blocked the event, according to the report.
“I’ll be honest, I feel some people just didn’t want it, not just it, but President Trump,” Riehm, familiar with inside discussions of the event, told NBC-15.
“If people can’t assemble in public places, where can we assemble?”
Trump was disappointed in the decision to keep the rally out, according Alabama Republican Party Chairman John Wahl to NBC.