LELAND – With 80 days left to convince North Carolina voters that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, not Democrat Hillary Clinton, should be the next president of the United States, Trump’s campaign turned to its ticket’s more polished politician on Wednesday, vice presidential candidate and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, to deliver the message.
Pence spoke for only 30 minutes outside Leland company Manufacturing Methods, but he hit on all of the campaign’s key targets – a biased media, Obama regulatory burdens, questions of Clinton’s trustworthiness and a promise to “make America great again.”
It’s a message Trump, a “straight shooter” who does not oblige by the “political correctness the media has put in his way,” has had to do on his own, Pence said.
“The media has been so busy parsing every word that Donald Trump has said in the last 30 minutes it’s like they don’t have time to talk about what the Clinton’s have been doing for 30 years,” Pence said.
And Pence tied those frustrations – and Clinton – to Obama Administration policies he said have stifled the American economy for millions and weakened America’s standing overseas, allowing the Middle East to fall apart.
“I like to say Donald Trump gets it,” Pence said. “He understands the frustrations and the aspirations of the American people like no one in our lifetime since our 40th president, Ronald Reagan.”
In the area of the Middle East, Pence touched on a much-maligned comment Trump made about President Barack Obama’s policies being behind the formation of ISIS. Pence noted that Obama’s “weak foreign policy,” specifically his pull out of troops before Iraq had been ready, left a vacuum in which ISIS was able to organize and grow.
“History teaches us, weakness arouses evil,” Pence said. “We won’t be paying ransom to terrorists or to terrorists-sponsoring states, they’ll be paying a price.”
Pence also went on the attack against Hilary Clinton’s use of a private email server when she served as secretary of state, talking about the most recent media reveals, which includes a new group of undisclosed emails and an alleged interference by the Obama administration of a planned FBI investigation.
Pence called Trump a fan of free trade, but also noted it was time to give “the greatest negotiator in the world” a chance to work for the American people.
Pence tied that into his host location; a business that started with two employees and has now grown through the use of technology and created jobs in North Carolina. It is a background that he and Trump can relate to, Pence said. Both came from business backgrounds. But, while he said he was called into public service, Trump remained “a builder.”
He joked that, while the two men were separated “by a lot of zeros” when it comes to wealth, both share the same ideals about what the American dream is.
Pence called the rise of Trump in this year’s election a “movement” away from the status quo, especially from those policies he said continue to “move further away from the ideals on which this nations was founded,” namely, small government, the Constitution and freedom, including the right to bear arms.
It’s an election that will also determine who serves on the United States Supreme Court
Pence also took the opportunity to throw his support behind Senator Richard Burr, who is facing Democrat state Rep. Deborah Ross in his re-election bid, and Gov. Pat McCrory, who is facing a challenge from Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper. He called upon the supporters in attendance to return both Republicans back to office in November.
Noting North Carolina’s importance in the race for the White House, Pence urged those in attendance to go home and to personally reach out to the people they know to express their support for Trump. Such contacts will carry far more weight than news articles and social media posts, he said.
“I promise you this man is ready, this team is ready, this movement is ready,” Pence said. “Let’s go make sure North Carolina is ready.”
Leland and Wilmington marked Pence’s second and third stop in North Carolina on Wednesday, having earlier spoken in Charlotte before touring the State Port of Wilmington. His appearances drew fewer supporters, but also none of the protesters than Trump’s own visit to the University of North Carolina-Wilmington on Aug. 9.
Clinton has yet to make an appearance in this area during the election cycle, but her running mate, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, of Virginia has made three stops in recent weeks. On Aug. 3 he was in Greensboro and he spent two days in the southern part of the state, speaking in Fayetteville and Ashville on Aug. 15 and 16.