Clinton drives debate momentum to Raleigh

RALEIGH — The clock read 20:16, and the score was tied 45 to 45 to represent the next president as the 45th at the Physical Education Building at Wake Technical Community College on Tuesday.Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton took the stage to celebrate National Registration Day the day after the first of three presidential debates against Republican Donald Trump. She took the time to address the other races that will be on the November ballot and the importance of voting. “Think about everything that is at stake in this election,” Clinton said. “Right here in North Carolina, the very mean-spirited, wrong-headed decision made by your legislature and governor to pass and sign House Bill 2 has hurt this state. But more than that it has hurt people. It has sent a message to so many people that you’re not really wanted, you’re not really a part of us. I think the American Dream is big enough for everybody.”Pat McCrory’s campaign spokesman Ricky Diaz responded Clinton’s claims in a press release following the event. “Hillary Clinton parachuted in to North Carolina to deliver a highly disappointing speech at a difficult time for our state,” Diaz stated. “She attacked North Carolina values, our voter ID law and the governor.”Deborah Ross, who is running for U.S. Senate to challenge incumbent Richard Burr and spoke prior to Clinton, addressed H.B. 2 and drew similarities between the controversial bathroom bill and some of Trump’s campaign platform. “You know what else doesn’t work for North Carolina?” Ross asked. “That horribly, discriminatory House Bill 2. It is the kind of law like so much of what we’ve heard from Donald Trump last night. It pushes people apart rather than brings people together. House Bill 2 has hurt our economy and our good name.”Monday’s debate, which drew a record-breaking television audience, seemed to favor Clinton, who was declared the winner in several polls and news reports. The former secretary of state said she wants to continue to inform voters of her platform and explain why they should vote for her, as opposed to Trump. “Last night, I got a chance to say a few things of what I want to do if I’m so fortunate enough to be elected as your president,” Clinton said. “And I do have this old-fashioned idea that if I’m asking for your vote, I should tell you what I want to do.”Clinton added she doesn’t think Trump is ready to be president after his performance during Monday’s debate. “He made it very clear he did not prepare for that debate,” Clinton said. “At one point, he was kind of digging me for spending time off of the campaign trail to get prepared. Just trying to keep track of everything that he says took a lot of time. I said, ‘Yeah, I did prepare, and I’ll tell you something else I prepared for: I prepared to be president of the United States.'”Sheila Carter, of Durham, said Clinton’s debate performance encouraged her to attend the rally, and she hopes it would encourage independents to give their vote to Clinton. “She did such a good job last night at the debate, Carter said Tuesday. “I think it’s going to sway the independent people who claim they haven’t made up their mind, but I think after last night they are definitely going to go her way. I personally don’t get why people are so torn.” Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane, state Sen. Dan Blue and former North Carolina Gov. Jim Hunt spoke and endorsed Clinton ahead of her speech.