- A convention center in Riverside, California, has refused to host Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz’ “America First” event.
- The decision was made by a private company that operates the venue, the Riverside mayor said.
- A hotel last week said it wouldn’t host the event once it realized that Gaetz and Greene were the featured speakers.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
A convention center in Riverside, California, announced it would not host GOP Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz after it received backlash in the latest blow to the lawmakers’ “America First” tour.
The event was scheduled to take place Saturday evening at the Riverside Convention Center but was canceled by Raincross Hospitality Corp., the private company that manages and operates the venue, just 24 hours before it was scheduled to take place, according to a press release from the office of Riverside Mayor Patricia Lock Dawson.
“I recognize this was a divisive issue in our community, and I am glad it has been resolved,” Dawson said in the statement. “I commend Raincross Hospitality Corp. for this decision.”
“Riverside is a diverse and inclusive community, so it is heartening to hear that this event will not move forward,” said Riverside Mayor Pro Tem Gaby Plascencia. “I am disappointed we even got to this point, because these speakers are the antithesis of everything Riverside stands for.”
The tour by two of the most polarizing members of Congress aims to attack Democrats and also Republicans who they believe aren’t loyal to former President Donald Trump. Gaetz has also been embroiled in controversy after reports surfaced in late March that the third-term congressman was under investigation for sex trafficking. Gaetz has denied any wrongdoing.
The decision to cancel the event at the Riverside Convention Center followed a decision by a Laguna Hills, California, hotel last week to cancel the “America First” event after it learned that Gaetz and Greene were the featured speakers. The hotel manager said it previously believed the event to be a “gathering,” according to the Orange County Register.
“We just want to stay clear of that,” the hotel manager told the outlet.
Gaetz, a Republican from Florida, and Greene, a Republican from Georgia, plan to go ahead with the event, hosting it at the Anaheim Event Center in Orange County, closer to the initial venue, according to a report from CBS Los Angeles.
Representatives for Gaetz, Greene, the Riverside Convention Center, and the Anaheim Event Center did not immediately return Insider’s request for comment Saturday
“Democrats are the party of hate,” Greene said in a tweet Saturday morning. “They organized to attack, threaten, & harass every venue we booked in CA to hold an America First rally, which celebrates our great country & freedoms. They think their vicious hate will stop me, but I never give up. See you at the rally tonight!”
“The Woketopians are this scared of a dose of #AmericaFirst in California,” Gaetz said in a tweet on Saturday morning. “Rally still happening today!”
The two controversial House Republicans embarked on their “America First” tour earlier this year, Insider previously reported. It began in a conservative Florida retirement community known as The Villages.