Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt on Wednesday said the decision to shift locations for the president's Thursday night speech from the open air Bank of America Stadium to the indoor Time Warner Cable Arena was motivated by public safety, not concern over filling seats.
"Ultimately public safety comes first," LaBolt told MSNBC's Thomas Roberts. "We had 65,000 people slated to attend and we can't put them in that position. We looked at all of the weather forecasts out this morning and several predicted severe weather in the middle of the program tomorrow night."
LaBolt also pushed back against conspiracy theories floated by Republicans that the decision was made out of fear that the larger outdoor stadium would be littered with empty seats.
"I think those are unfortunate comments," LaBolt said. "We had 19,000 people on the wait list in addition to the 65,000 people ready to see the president tonight. I think if you look to the stories out this morning, there was a clear difference in enthusiasm here in Charlotte than you saw in Tampa last week."