N.C. Republicans rally with Trump in W-S

N.C. Republicans rally with Trump in W-S
July 28
10:00 2016



North Carolina republicans flocked to presidential nominee Donald Trump and his running mate, Gov. Mike Pence, as they appeared on Monday, July 25, at the Winston – Salem Fairgrounds Annex, which seats 4,000 people.

Thousands attended the rally, where many Republicans running for office spoke, just days after Trump became the party’s official nominee at last week’s GOP convention. Most notable among the speakers were Sen. Richard Burr and Gov. Pat McCrory, who had not appeared at Trump’s numerous recent visits to North Carolina.

Trump opened by saying that he felt Sen. Bernie Sanders, who lost the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, had given up by endorsing Hillary Clinton. Sanders made a speech at the Democratic National Convention on Monday night urging support for Clinton, after he’d gotten numerous concessions in the platform, such as free college tuition for families earning $125,000 or less and a public healthcare option.

Trump said he shared Sanders’ stance on trade, in opposing deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which Clinton now opposes, too. He said the Vermont Senator’s supporters will now vote for him because this was Sander’s main issue. During the primary, Democrats criticized Sanders for being too focused on issues of wealth inequality and getting big money out of politics, which he talked about far more than trade.

Trump said that the United States shouldn’t take refugees from the civil war in Syria, where the U.S. and its allies are currently fighting ISIS. Instead, he’d build a safe zone in war-torn Syria and make Middle Eastern countries pay for it.

“We’re not taking one person, not one person, into this country. We have enough problems,” he said to thunderous applause.

Trump also said that other countries will have to pay more for protection by the U.S. military. He gave the example of Japan, which he said pays about half of what it costs to station military personnel there. He asked why Japan couldn’t pay 100 percent , while saying the United States should be willing to walk away when negotiating such deals.

North Korean state paper DPRK praised Trump in May when he said he might withdraw troops from South Korea if the country didn’t pay more.  The paper called him a “far sighted presidential candidate” who will “not get involved in the war between North and South.”

Trump repeated what has now become a familiar line about building a wall along the southern U.S. border that he’ll make Mexico pay for. He once again insulted Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who is a fierce Trump critic, calling her “Pocahontas” and saying she’s the least productive senator with “a big mouth.”

He criticized CNN, which he called the “Clinton News Network,” for having panels he said were filled with people who were all against him. He said the media was too negative in its assessment of his acceptance speech, while bragging about his post-convention bounce in the polls. (According to a CNN Survey Monkey poll that came out Tuesday morning, July 26, Trump did not get a convention bounce in the polls.)

Trump characterized his convention speech, which was often criticized for being too dark, as “optimistic.”

Leading up to his speech, N.C. Republicans were not shy about their support of Trump. Burr said electing Trump will lead to the change that conservatives want.

“I’m convinced that with Trump in the White House, with a Republican majority in the House and Senate, you will get what you asked for,” said Burr.

When McCrory introduced Pence, he also said Trump can fix the federal government since he’s not a part of it. Trump now says he’s an “outsider” after he was part of the “system” when he donated to and influenced politicians as a businessman.

“We need an outsider,” McCrory said.

McCrory also spoke against the Obama administration’s policies on the Affordable Healthcare Act, admitting Syrian refugees and environmental regulation.  He even opened with a joke about restrooms that referenced HB 2, a controversial law restricting transgender public restroom use that recently resulted in the NBA withdrawing the All-Star Games from Charlotte.

Though change is a common theme in political campaigns, the tone of the rally was a bit different. Rep. Mark Meadows was one of several speakers who said things like Clinton would look better “in prison orange than Democrat blue,” which the crowd would respond with a chant of “Lock her up!”

Just before the rally officially began, there were three African-American speakers who addressed the largely white crowd.

YouTube stars and super Trump fans from Fayetteville, Lynette “Diamond” Hardaway and Rochelle “Silk” Richardson, said that African-Americans need to get off the “Democratic Plantation.” South Carolina Televangelist Mark Burns said that “blue lives matter” and that he’s never been pulled over unjustly by the police.

Burns accused Obama of being a “racist,” stoking tension between white and black Americans. He also felt anger and criticism aimed at Trump is being unfairly targeted.

“If you’re going to be mad at anybody, be mad at the citizens of the United States because we put him where he is right now,” he said.

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Todd Luck

Todd Luck

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