Presidential campaigns battle for votes in NC

Both Clintons, Kaine visit the state, Trump stumps in Greenville

Madeline Gray—North State Journal
Former President Bill Clinton says goodbye to supporters after speaking at a rally for Hillary Clinton in Durham on Tuesday

RALEIGH — Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were at an event on the same day for the first time this campaign season on Wednesday, discussing their differing views on national security at NBC’s “Commander-in-Chief” forum in New York.However much of the week’s campaigning was spent in North Carolina, with Trump, Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine, and Bill Clinton all visiting the state Tuesday, and Hillary Clinton speaking in Charlotte Thursday.”This election is going to determine in so many ways what kind of futures you will have. I don’t say that lightly,” Clinton said at Johnson C. Smith University. “Everybody always says every election is important, and I happen to believe that.”Trump, the Republican nominee, spoke at the Greenville Convention Center Tuesday evening and continued to paint himself as an outsider who can fix a “broken and corrupt” Washington.”We will never fix our rigged system by relying on the people who rigged it in the first place,” Trump said. “We will never solve our problems by relying on the politicians who created our problems.”So to every American who has been waiting for real change, your wait is over — your moment of liberation is at hand,” Trump, who was introduced by NASCAR legend Richard Petty, added. “A vote for Trump is a vote to restore Democracy, to heal our economy, and to bring millions of jobs back into every forgotten stretch of this country.”Earlier in the day, both Kaine and former President Bill Clinton stumped for the Democrats in Wilmington and Durham, respectively.Kaine, a U.S. senator and former governor from Virginia, spoke at the USO building in eastern N.C.and went on the offensive against Trump.”Trump has offered empty promises and divisive rhetoric,” Kaine said. “Under his leadership, we would be unrecognizable to the rest of the world. And we would be far less safe.”While Kaine was attacking Trump on his foreign policy knowledge in Wilmington, Bill Clinton was in Durham touting his wife’s resume, including her advocacy of children.”Real life is hard work. Real change is hard work,” Bill Clinton said to the crowd at the Community Family Life & Recreation Center at Lyon Park. “But you look into the eyes of these children and it’s worth it.”U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-Wilson), the chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, introduced the former president and urged North Carolinians to show up at the polls.”This election is the most important, the most consequential of our lifetime,” Butterfield said.Also speaking ahead of Bill Clinton was North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall, who compared her first win for that office over the aforementioned Petty in 1996 to the current race for the White House.”I was just a lowly state senator who didn’t have the same recognition [as Petty],” Marshall said.Marshall said the state rallied behind her ideas and saw beyond Petty’s fame to give her an eight-point win. She said Hillary Clinton’s education, experience and temperament make her — like Marshall, who became the first woman in North Carolina history to win an elected statewide executive office 20 years ago — much more qualified for office than someone without a political background.In an election based on differing perceptions — Hillary Clinton is either an experienced leader or part of the bought-and-paid-for failed establishment, while Trump is perceived as a motivated outsider or an unqualified candidate — both campaigns used last week to offer North Carolinians their view.For the Democrats, that means painting Trump as a dangerous choice.”People who have sacrificed and spent their lives protecting our country, valuing what makes us exceptional and already great, see Donald Trump and know he should not be anywhere near the White House,” Hillary Clinton said. “He is temperamentally unfit to be president and commander-in-chief.”And for the Trump campaign, it means calling on a new day in American leadership.”For years, we have been caught up in endless wars and conflicts under the leadership of failed politicians and a failed foreign policy establishment in Washington, D.C.,” Trump said. “The same people who made every wrong decision in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Egypt, China and Russia are the same people who are advising Hillary Clinton.”In Battleground North Carolina, it won’t be the last time the campaigns crisscross the state spreading their version of the truth — and seeking its crucial 15 electoral votes.