Candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton both held rallies in North Carolina, a prominent battleground state in presidential elections, Tuesday evening, July 5.
Republican Candidate Donald Trump held his rally at Raleigh’s Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, and was introduced briefly by Tennessee Senator Bob Corker.
Trump’s speech focused largely on previously-discussed talking points, including Syrian immigrants, terrorism, domestic job preservation, ‘crooked Hillary,’ and the ubiquitous Mexican wall.
Trump also tossed barbs at President Obama for what he deemed frivolous trips during crucial times.
“Our country is going to Hell,” Trump said. “ISIS is laughing at us, they’re chopping off heads, they’re drowning people in steel cages, and he’s out there playing golf with just about as long a trip as you can make from Washington.”
Much of Trump’s speech featured his slogans on ‘taking back America,’ emphasizing his declared focus on improving the American economy and bringing back jobs.
“The message is simple. We’re gonna take our country back,” Trump declared. “We’re gonna have everybody included, folks… We want to help African-Americans. We want to help Hispanics, Latinos. We want to help everybody. We’ve got to help everybody. We’ve got to bring our country together.
A portion of Trump’s speech, which he stated was written on the plane to the rally, addressed what he saw as corruption in Clinton’s lack of charges for sending emails via unsecured servers.
“Today is the best evidence ever that we’ve seen that our system is absolutely, totally rigged,” Trump stated, referring to the FBI’s recommendations of no charges in Clinton’s email case.
“She sent vast amounts of classified information including information classified as top secret. Top secret. OK? And this is where they said that she was extremely careless, and frankly I say grossly incompetent. She would be such a lousy president, folks.”
A theme through Trump’s speech was ‘taking back the country,’ which ranged in focus from the corrupt establishment to loss of jobs to overseas countries.
“We’re gonna win this thing,” Trump said. “We’re gonna take this country back from these thieves and these crooks and these horrible presidents…”
Trump spent much of his speech attacking Clinton with accusations of crookedness, along with criticisms of her handling of Benghazi and Middle-East policies.
“Hillary also had reason to hide her foreign policy disasters and the decisions that went into them,” Trump stated. “Her push for regime change in Libya, Egypt and Syria has been a total and complete disaster. Her Iraq policy has been catastrophic. She’s unleashed ISIS across the Middle East with her bad decisions and her bad judgment.”
Trump also spoke on his desire to break from the establishment, framing himself as that separation.
“I hate to use the term but we really do need change,” Trump stated. “We need fresh, tough, bold ideas. We need people that know what they’re doing. We need people that aren’t worried about political correctness. We can’t use that term.”
Trump concluded by stating his intent to protect free and fair trade and oppose isolation.
“I can give you ten different names for trade. Here’s what I call it,” Trump said. “We’re going to make great deals for our country. I don’t care if it’s fair, if it’s free, I don’t give a damn what it is. We’re gonna make great deals for our country. We’re not going to let happen what’s been happening. So folks, we’re gonna start winning again.”
Democratic Candidate Hillary Clinton held her rally at the Charlotte Convention Center four hours after Trump.
President Obama gave a speech announcing his endorsement of Clinton, which also outlined key reasons for his support. He highlighted her experience as Secretary of State, praising her foreign policy and diplomacy skills.
Obama spoke first on his regard for Clinton through her hard work as political opponents.
“During the primaries, again and again, I saw how, even when things didn’t go her way, she’d just stand up straighter and come back stronger,” Obama stated. “She didn’t give up. She didn’t pout. She just kept on going. She was the Energizer Bunny. She just kept on.”
Obama also spoke about his regard for Clinton’s skills in handling economics.
“She know that when it comes to our economy,” Obama stated. “Because she knows that our economy works best not when it only benefits a few at the top, but when everybody has got a fair shot at success…”
Commenting on Clinton’s experience as Secretary of State, Obama praised her skill in diplomacy and nuance.
“Part of the reason is, is that Hillary understood and continues to understand that just a bunch of tough talk doesn’t replace the hard work of diplomacy,” Obama stated. “A bunch of phony bluster doesn’t keep us safe. And she understands we can’t retreat from a world that needs American leadership…”
“The bottom line is she was a great Secretary of State,” Obama stated, to applause.
Obama also highlighted goals in jobs rights, including paid and sick leave, as well as higher minimum wage and equal pay.
“Each of these policies — the policies Hillary mentioned — would help working families feel more secure in today’s economy,” Obama said. “She’s actually got a plan.”
Obama concluded his endorsement by restating his confidence in Clinton’s diplomacy and ability in senatorial and secretarial affairs.
“I’m ready to pass the baton,” Obama stated in his conclusion. “And I know that Hillary Clinton is going to take it. And I know she can run that race. The race to create good jobs, and better schools, and safer streets, and a safer world. And that’s why I’m fired up! And that’s why I’m ready to go! And that’s why I’m with her!”
Both Trump and Clinton are expected to take their respective party nominations for November’s election.