Trump campaign secretly fearing another debacle as they paint happy face on GOP convention prospects
President of the United States Donald Trump speaking with supporters at a "Keep America Great" rally at Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix, Arizona. (Gage Skidmore)

The Trump campaign has high hopes for the Republican National Convention, but they're already preparing excuses if turnout is low during the coronavirus pandemic.

The president hoped to reboot his sagging re-election campaign last week with a rally in Tulsa, but a much-lower-than-anticipated turnout frustrated the president and spooked his campaign aides ahead of the convention in Jacksonville, reported Politico.

“The last thing we want to do is over-promise and under-deliver,” said a Trump campaign adviser. “Obviously we wish Tulsa had not turned out the way it did, but it was a useful reminder of what we hope to avoid next time.”

Campaign officials claimed protesters prevented some supporters from entering the rally, but polls show concerns about coronavirus transmission could hurt attendance at the RNC, which is scheduled for Aug. 24-27.

“There will be safety precautions in place that will be adapted based on the situation at the time of the event,” said a RNC spokesperson. “These include but are not limited to temperature checks, available [Personal Protective Equipment], aggressive sanitizing protocols, available Covid-19 testing, and regular phone calls and coordination with federal, state and local health officials.”

And if the convention turns into another debacle, campaign aides are already preparing to blame RNC organizers.

“It would be a huge blow to morale if something goes wrong and we get blamed again," said one campaign official, "but I don’t think that’s going to happen because we aren’t the ones in charge here."