President Trump holds tele-rally with N.C. voters Friday

President Donald Trump speaks during a signing ceremony with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Kosovar Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti, in the Oval Office of the White House, Friday, Sept. 4, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

RALEIGH – President Donald Trump held a tele-rally with supporters on Friday, Sept. 4 from around North Carolina as absentee by-mail ballots begin to go out to voters.

Earlier Friday, it was announced by the president’s re-election campaign that he would come to Winston-Salem’s Smith Reynolds Airport to deliver remarks the day after Labor Day, Tuesday, Sept. 8.

According to a campaign spokesperson, President Trump held the first tele-rally with supporters in Wisconsin on July 17 and has held additional tele-rallies with supporters in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Maine, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania.

The campaign said that these tele-rallies draw around one million views on Facebook, in addition to tens of thousands of households via phone in battleground communities.

Earlier Friday, North State Journal interviewed RNC deputy political director Carrie Tucker, who said the Republicans’ virtual campaign has been embraced enthusiastically.

“We increased participation and training on voter contact. Our neighborhood team leaders weren’t going to let this keep them for motiving voters and supporting the President,” Tucker said when asked about how the field program adapted.

“Hello North Carolina, in 60 days we’re going to win four more years,” said President Trump when he arrived on the call.

Immediately, Trump dove into the topic of absentee by-mail ballots, which has been the subject of an intense push given the state’s position as the first to send general election ballots to voters.

“You’re going to get your ballots soon, and you know, I’ve been suspicious. There’s been a lot of reports of solicited and unsolicited ballots sent,” said President Trump.

The president encouraged those on the phone to complete, sign, and mail ballots as early as possible, but to also verify that the ballots have been counted.

“If it has, you won’t be able to vote. If it hasn’t been counted, go vote. Pull the lever,” said Trump.

The N.C. State Board of Elections created a tool called Ballot Trax so voters can track the status of their absentee ballots. The tool, according to a State Board statement, should be available soon. “At the State Board, our goal is to ensure all voters can cast a ballot, whether in person or by mail,” said Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the State Board of Elections.

In remarks that had many of the same themes as Trump’s outdoor rallies he’s recently done in states such as New Hampshire and Pennsylvania, he said, “This is going to be the biggest election in the history of our country. You see the people we’re dealing with, bigger than even 2016. Joe Biden wants to surrender your jobs to China and the nation to the left-wing mob.”

Trump also called Biden a puppet of the Marxists and extremists and highlighted that the Delaware Fraternal Order of Police endorsed his campaign over Delaware native Biden.

Trump’s message focused on the contrast that has been a major theme for Trump and Republicans: in 47 months as president, he has worked to undo 47 years of damage from Joe Biden.

Among the accomplishments Trump cited were border security, trade deals, ISIS, and the economy.

“This election is about safety and its about jobs,” said Trump.

The president also mentioned the 1.4 million jobs added in August, pointing to what the campaign calls a clear contrast between Trump and Biden over who should lead that nation’s economic recovery.

On the call were also Sen. Thom Tillis, who Trump said “when I’ve needed him he’s been there. His opponent wants to raise your taxes, open borders, obliterate the 2nd Amendment and he’s going to do whatever Chuck Schumer tells him to do. Cal Cunningham is his name,” said Trump. “All my life I’ve said cut taxes, and these guys want to raise your taxes like never before.”

Trump also told supporters to vote for Lt. Gov. Dan Forest and said supporters needed to vote out “your lockdown loving governor Roy Cooper.”

“In four years, we’ve achieved more than anyone thought was possible. Eliminated more regulations than any administration in history. I kept my promise to North Carolina and ripped up NAFTA. I took the toughest ever action standing up to China’s pillaging and plundering and now we’re building up America,” Trump continued.

President Trump did talk about the coronavirus pandemic, calling the mobilization to fight the virus “The largest national mobilization since WWII.” Trump also said that under Operation Warp Speed, the country is on track to have a vaccine in record time.

Trump closed by saying he loved North Carolina and hasn’t let the state down. “You’ve been very good to me but we’ve got to win it again.” He said that his son, Eric, and daughter-in-law, Lara, named their daughter Carolina and that the state has meant a great deal to all of them. “Make sure your ballots are registered and tabulated. We’ll be there soon, I appreciate it very much. Goodnight.”