‘The best is yet to come:’ President Trump speaks to thousands at campaign rally in Hickory

Updated: Nov. 1, 2020 at 8:44 PM EST
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HICKORY, N.C. (WBTV) - Thousands waited for hours in Hickory on Sunday to listen to their president speak.

Hickory, coming off a week where it was battered by remnants of Tropical Storm Zeta, was the center of the political world, if not, for 45 minutes.

President Donald Trump held a campaign rally at the Hickory Regional Airport where tens of thousand supporters attended.

Trump’s “Make America Great Again” rally was scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m., but his speech started closer to 6:30 p.m.

Attendees, who had to register, stood in line as early as 7 a.m., and spectators were allowed to enter at 2:30 p.m.

Trump made a strong final push to win voters in North Carolina.

He spoke about opening up the economy, how a vaccine for COVID-19 is right around the corner and how Democratic opponent Joe Biden is the wrong person for the White House.

“Joe Biden is not up for this job. All you have to do is watch him for about five minutes,” Trump said. “We cannot have a leader that is not sharp.”

Trump’s third visit to North Carolina in two weeks came the day after early voting ended in the state.

Election Day is on Tuesday, Nov. 3, but the presidency is likely not to be decided then.

Trump flew into Charlotte Douglas International Airport around 5:30 p.m. Sunday where he was greeted by Rev. Franklin Graham.

He took a helicopter to Hickory where he was met with thousands of supporters.

“The best is yet to come,” Trump said. “Proud citizens like you help us build this country, and together, we are taking back our country. We are returning the power to you, the American people.”

Trump encouraged those who haven’t voted to cast their ballots on Election Day.

He talked about his accomplishments since he was elected president in 2016.

“We have made America powerful again, with our military,” Trump said. “We have made America wealthy again. We have made America strong again. We have made America strong again. We have made America safe again. And we will make America great again.”

Trump urged his voters to re-elect Republican Senator Thom Tillis and to elect Republican Dan Forrest as North Carolina’s governor.

Trump said that North Carolina, and its 15 electoral points, could be the difference in the election.

“From Asheville to Charlotte, from Wilmington to Raleigh, from Greensboro to right here in Hickory, the greatest furniture in the country, and it’s much better than what they make in China, we inherit the legacy of red-blooded patriots who gave their lives to defend our country and defend our freedom.”

Trump talked about how he is not your typical politician, which he says, is what got him elected in the first place.

“You have elected a president who is finally putting America first,” Trump said. “If I don’t sound like a typical Washington politician, it’s because, thankfully, I am not a politician. I don’t always play by the rules of Washington and the Washington establishment. It’s because I fight for you and there has never been anyone who has fought harder for you.”

According to WBTV Meteorologist said 25 mph gusts went through Hickory as the president was speaking. A forklift at the rally fell because of the heavy winds.

Trump will be back in North Carolina on Monday, speaking at a campaign rally in Fayetteville.

Last week’s campaign rally in Fayetteville was postponed because of heavy winds from Tropical Storm Zeta. Instead, he and First Lady Melania Trump paid a visit to Fort Bragg.

Melania Trump is scheduled to speak in Huntersville on Monday.

Trump previously spoke at a campaign rally in Gastonia, where more than 25,000 people attended, on Oct. 21.

In the final stretch of the campaign, CBS News Battleground Tracker has Biden leading Trump by four points in North Carolina, for those 15 Electoral points.

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