FAYETTEVILLE, N.C (WNCN) – President Donald Trump was met with a sea of “Keep America Great” and “Trump 2020” signs as he walked on stage Monday at the Crown Complex in Fayetteville.
Thanking the crowd and giving thumbs up, Trump walked to the podium to Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA.”
Trump began the rally talking about Hurricane Dorian and those groups who responded to help those affected. He only specifically named Franklin Graham and Samaritan’s Purse as a group who has helped.
“North Carolina in our country probably got hit the hardest, that was a bit of a surprise,” he said.
The president said North Carolina would bounce back so fast from Dorian that it wasn’t worth talking about.
“I know one thing about North Carolina, you can take it and you’ll build it quickly and you’ll build it beautifully,” he said.
He then launched into his accomplishments.
“We have the No. 1 economy anywhere in the world,” Trump said.
He then said the media and Democrats work together against him.
“They tried the recession thing. They tried the Russia thing,” Trump said.
Trump announced his visit to North Carolina weeks ago in support of Dan Bishop (R) who is running for the state’s 9th District Congressional seat in Tuesday’s special election.
“To stop the far left, you must vote in tomorrow’s special election,” Trump said.
The president said sanctuary cities are one of the biggest issues in the election. He then spoke of sanctuary cities in California where “a lot of illegal voting is happening."
“Tomorrow is your chance to send a clear message to the America-hating left,” Trump said.
Chants of “build that wall” broke out after Trump spoke of the wall.
“This state should be a sanctuary for law-abiding citizens,” the president said.
Trump then brought Dan Bishop on stage who said “we’re not tired of winning.”
Bishop took a shot at the media, echoing a similar statement from the president earlier in the rally.
At that point, Trump called for a doctor as someone was suffering from the heat inside the Crown Complex. The president claimed people had been waiting outside for two days to get inside the rally.
“Have you seen outside? Thousands and thousands who couldn’t get in,” Trump said.
Trump said he wanted a larger venue and said he was willing to stand in the rain. The rally was originally planned to be held at Fayetteville’s airport.
Bishop resumed the rally by pleading with the audience to vote Tuesday.
The president moved on to foreign policy and said America’s allies had been taking advantage of the coverage.
“China wants to talk. China’s lost three million jobs,” he said in reference to the tariffs. “China is eating the costs, which the fake news doesn’t want to tell you.”
Moving on to healthcare, Trump said Democrats support late-term abortion where the doctor and mother would talk after a child is born to see if it would live.
The president said he would prohibit late-term abortions “because Republicans believe every child is a sacred gift from God.”
Moving from Iran to bulking up the U.S. military – Trump said again, no other president has done more than him while in office.
He then took an audience vote on whether they preferred “Made in America” or “Made in the USA.”
Following a series of promises and touting America’s economy, he finished the more than 90-minute rally by saying he will “make America great again.”
Vice President Mike Pence took the stage ahead of the president where he talked border security and what the Trump administration has done for veterans.
“Four more years! Four more years!” the crowd chanted as Pence spoke of Trump’s accomplishments since taking office.
“Four more years means more results,” Pence said. “And it will take four more years to drain that swamp.”
Protesters arrived before the rally began but were escorted off the premises as the rally was a private event. While it was open to the public, a ticket was needed to gain entry and it was paid for by the Trump campaign.
The president arrived in North Carolina Monday afternoon with plans to visit areas affected by Hurricane Dorian. As Air Force One sat on the TARMAC in Havelock, severe weather moved across the region, forcing the visit to be canceled.
Dozens waited for the president at Emerald Isle, a neighborhood that was devastated by an EF-2 tornado that spun off of Dorian.
Trump then met with Gov. Roy Cooper aboard Air Force One in Havelock to discuss the state’s needs in the aftermath of Dorian.
Monday’s rally would be his first in North Carolina since his July 17 rally in Greenville.