RALEIGH — Thousands turned out for President Donald Trump’s campaign stop in Lumberton on Saturday. The theme of the event was “fighting for forgotten men and women” of the Lumbee Indian tribe.
The president highlighted his support for the tribe and the Lumbee Recognition act. Trump said he is “fighting for every American of every background, race, color, and creed, including Native Americans.”
“When I’m re-elected, I will proudly sign the Lumbee Recognition Act, which should have been signed a long time ago, and the people of North Carolina want that,” said Trump.
The Lumbee Recognition Act is a bill sponsored by North Carolina’s Republican U.S. Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis. The bill will extend services and benefits provided to qualified members of federally recognized tribes.
Trump said that in the past, other political officials, including the Obama administration, had promised the tribe full status, but that “they clearly abandoned you when they got your vote.”
For 135 years, the Lumbee tribe has been trying to get recognition from the federal government, and President Trump has given new life to the effort. Earlier this month, the president released a statement of his support for full federal recognition of the Lumbee Tribe.
“President Trump’s landmark push for the Lumbee Tribe’s recognition is yet another example of his ability to accomplish more in one term than career politicians like Joe Biden do over decades,” said Trump Victory spokesperson Gates McGavick. “North Carolinians are excited to welcome President Trump for another high-energy rally here, his second this week.”
Tribal Chairman Harvey Godwin Jr. said in a statement that the Lumbee people are “excited to have the president’s support,” and that they have “fought for full federal recognition for our people for over a century now.”
The tribe was recognized by the state of North Carolina in 1885 and has been seeking full federal recognition since 1888. In 1956, Congress passed the Lumbee Act, which recognized the tribe as Indian, but the act did not bestow the full benefits of federal recognition on the tribe.
The Lumbee tribe says there are 55,000 members across Cumberland, Hoke, Robeson and Scotland counties. The tribe is the largest in North Carolina and ninth-largest in the country.
Turning to his opponent, Trump told the crowd that “this election is about a Trump recovery or Biden depression.”
Trump later joked that he was “going off teleprompter” and that Biden “can’t go off… or on teleprompter.” He also said that Sen. Kamala Harris was so “radical” that she “makes Bernie Sanders look like a conservative.”
Multiple times during the rally, the crowd broke out into chants of “four more years!”
Similar to the Gastonia rally just days earlier, Trump called on Gov. Roy Cooper to “open up the state” and said that Cooper “needs to go.” The president then told the crowd to vote for Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, Cooper’s Republican challenger.
Woven into the president’s remarks were key accomplishments, highlighting the differences between himself and Biden.
“For 47 years, Joe Biden supported every wretched betrayal of the American worker,” said Trump, also calling out the former vice president out on his past statements that he would ban fracking and for being a “cheerleader for NAFTA, the worst trade deal in history.”
Trump said that his administration’s United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) trade deal will boost the economy. According to the Trump administration, the USMCA will deliver new jobs in North Carolina which annually exports around $10 billion in goods to Canada and Mexico.
The president said in his remarks that “in the next four years, we will make America the manufacturing super-power of the world.”
“I did more in 47 months than Sleepy Joe did in 47 years, Trump told the crowd. “A vote for Republicans is a vote for safe communities, great jobs, a limitless future for all Americans. It’s really a vote for the American Dream.”
Appealing to the large military and veteran population in North Carolina, the president talked about his administration rebuilding the military and that “defense spending soared” under his tenure. Trump also spoke about expanding school choice and making sure students are not being indoctrinated with anti-American curriculum.
Taking the stage before the president arrived were Congressmen Dan Bishop (NC-09) and Richard Hudson (NC-08) and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. All three men urged attendees to get out and vote. Bishop got the crowd chanting “lock him up” after showing off a new t-shirt that read, “Biden is a crook. Change my mind.”
North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Kings Mountain) was also on hand in support of President Trump and all of the other candidates on the ballot. He said there are clear choices and he believes voters will “break Republican.”
“This election is so pivotal and so critical because the people of this state understand there are two directions,” Moore told North State Journal. “And one only need to look back to May to what happened in downtown Raleigh — that’s an example of what happens when Democrats are in charge, allowing lawlessness to run wild but at the same time telling law-abiding citizens they can’t go to church; they can’t worship. And that’s what our governor did.”