GREENVILLE, N.C. – Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump invoked religion, talked of unifying Americans and tried to raise doubts about whether Democratic rival Hillary Clinton can be trusted in a new campaign stump speech unveiled on Tuesday in Greenville, N.C. The appearance is his first in North Carolina since last week’s Reuters/Ipsos poll shows him pulling even with Clinton. “I will fight for Detroit, for Chicago, for Baltimore, and for every neglected part of this nation – and I will fight to bring us all together as one American people,” Trump told a packed rally in a departure from his typical bare-knuckled approach.Trump’s no-holds barred style is gaining him recognition, fans and opponents. “If we keep doing the same thing, then the country will get the same results,” said NC GOP Vice Chair Michele Nix. “He may be controversial, but he is elevating the conversation and getting people talking about the issues in our country.”Trump’s speech comes as both candidates bring in endorsements from military brass. Trump announced yesterday before his visits to Virginia and Greenville the endorsements of 88 retired generals and admirals. They said in their letter that they were throwing their support behind Trump because he is “more trusted to be commander-in-chief than Hillary Clinton.””Hillary Clinton has made clear she is running as a staunch defender of the status quo when it comes to the issues facing our military, and she has shown through her foreign policy decisions and her mishandling of classified information that she lacks the judgment to do the job,” added Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, US Army, Ret. “Mr.Trump’s deep and growing support in the military community and his thoughtful proposals show he’s the right person to lead our men and women in uniform.”Trump, in a speech on Wednesday in Cleveland, is expected to lay out a military preparedness plan in which he will call for rescinding mandatory defense spending cuts and embarking on a major military buildup. The Trump campaign said the candidate will call for big increases in spending for new ships, planes, submarines and training combat troops and bolstering missile defense systems. Trump will also criticize Clinton for “military adventurism” for her handling of Libya and the Middle East as secretary of state.In addition to her husband Bill Clinton’s speech in Durham touting her foreign policy experience, Clinton announced Wednesday morning that she too has the nod from retired generals. Ninety-five military retirees, including General Lloyd “Fig” Newton, a 4-Star General and America’s first African-American Thunderbird pilot, signed a letter of support for Clinton.”Given the challenges we face around the world today, and the rhetoric we are hearing from some at home, I feel I have a moral imperative to come forth and endorse Secretary Hillary Clinton for President. This is not about Democrat or Republican, this is about who is best qualified to lead the country in this complex world we live in,” said Newton.A TRUMP PRESIDENCY In his Greenville speech, Trump outlined what he would do on his first day as president if elected on Nov. 8, part of a new effort to inject more discipline into his free-wheeling campaign. He said he would suspend the resettlement of Syrian refugees into the United States, start toward repealing and replacing President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare plan, and begin the first steps toward building a wall along the U.S. southern border with Mexico. Trump, who rarely mentions religion, quoted from a Bible passage he read aloud at a black church in Detroit on Saturday, part of his effort to appeal to African-American voters. “Imagine what our country could accomplish if we started working together as one people, under one God, saluting one flag,” he added. “It is time to break with the bitter failures of the past, and to embrace a new American future.”Trump hopes North Carolina will help build the future of America. “It is important in North Carolina to show North Carolina can be a guiding light for the rest of the nation by continuing to stand up and support the Republican ideals because they work,” said Nix. “People voting for Donald Trump believe in lowering taxes, creating more jobs, and helping to make American great again. A great America is a productive America and not a consuming America,” she added. The North Carolina Republican Party is asking voters to support Saturday’s Boots on the Ground initiative to walk the streets, knock on doors and register people to vote. Interested participants can sign up to help at their local Republican Party headquarters. “If you value our constitution and being a free America with loves liberty, the Lord and lowering taxes; if you want to pass the American you grew up in down to your children and grandchildren, then Donald Trump is your candidate of choice,” said Nix. “People want to see change in the United States. People want to see a different America that what we’ve had over the past for years,” she added. THE DESTRUCTION OF EMAILS But Trump was unflinchingly critical of Clinton over the latest disclosures from the Federal Bureau of Investigation about her use of a private email server and destruction of thousands of emails that she and her staff had deemed of a personal nature. At least two of her mobile devices were reported destroyed by a staff using a hammer and BleachBit software to wipe unwanted emails. “People who have nothing to hide don’t smash phones with hammers. People who have nothing to hide don’t bleach their emails or destroy evidence to keep it from being publicly archived as required under federal law,” Trump said.The focus of the U.S. battle for the White House has shifted to national security, with both Clinton and Trump set to participate in a televised forum on Wednesday hosted by a veteran’s group.Ahead of the forum, Trump is turning his attention to military families. Before his appearance in Greenville, Trump meet with the wives of U.S. military personnel stationed in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. Setting aside his usual bombast, Trump turned soft-spoken and nodded attentively as the women, some of whom held babies on their laps, described their concerns about the quality of schools and finding jobs. “So much of this we can take care of,” Trump told them.Reuters News Service contributed to this report.
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