An event featuring former President Donald Trump as the keynote speaker planned for this Saturday at the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park was canceled by park commissioners.
“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,” commission chairman Bill Tunnell.
“Rick Santorum was the, 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,” said Tunnell of the time in 2012 when presidential candidate Rick Santorum used the park for a rally.
Tunnell said commissioners asked for a legal opinion from the attorney general’s office in late May. Attorney General Steve Marshall responded that there was little time for a formal opinion to be issued but he did note the park may be used for political events provided access is “available for all political parties and candidates on an equal basis.”
“I’ll be honest, I feel some people just didn’t want it, not just it but President Trump,” said local Tea Party activist Pete Riehm.
“If people can’t assemble in public places. Where can we assemble?” asked Riehm.
From The Daily Mail:
Alabama Republican Party Chairman John Wahl told NBC 15 that Trump had committed for Saturday night and was excited to speak to the Port City.
Wahl added that Trump is disappointed the event is not moving forward.
Currently, the president is scheduled to hold a rally in Tampa, Florida on Saturday. This is the second rally he is holding post-presidency. The first was in Ohio on June 26.
Tunnel says commissioners asked Attorney General Steve Marshall in May about the invitation for Trump to speak. In the response, the attorney general said there was not enough time to issue a formal opinion.
Marshall did say, however, that the park is able to be used for political events as long as access is ‘available for all political parties and candidates on an equal basis.’
Former Pennsylvania Republican Senator Rick Santorum previously used the same park for a political rally in his 2012 presidential campaign, which Tunnell said was the reason he no longer wants the park used for partisan events.
Alabama officials CANCEL Trump rally because they were concerned it would be 'too partisan' https://t.co/0zUpLfBWT3— Daily Mail US (@DailyMail) June 29, 2021
Trump was excited to speak Saturday night and is disappointed the event is not moving forward, according to the chairman of the Alabama Republican Party. https://t.co/31Ypn3wFhB— WEAR ABC 3 (@weartv) June 29, 2021