GREENVILLE, N.C. – First-time rallygoers said they weren't disappointed by President Donald Trump's performance at a Thursday afternoon event.
Greenville residents April and Mark Lundberg said they have seen plenty of Trump rallies on TV and wanted to experience one for themselves. They said they enjoyed themselves immensely.
“He's more personable than what you see on TV,” Mark Lundberg said. “He's a little more outgoing.”
“He seems like somebody who will be able to handle a whole bunch of different situations,” April Lundberg added.
President Trump had made North Carolina a weekly destination until he was diagnosed with COVID-19 early this month. He returned to the campaign trail this week. The rally in Greenville was his first in North Carolina since his recovery and came on the first day of early voting in the state.
The president returned to familiar themes during his roughly hour-plus speech. He told the crowd allowing Democrats to seize control of the federal government would lead to large-scale rioting and a judicary stacked in favor of left-wing policies. He praised judge Amy Coney Barrett's performance during this week's confirmation hearings for the Supreme Court. And he again accused former Vice President Joe Biden of being too soft on China.
“If Biden wins, China wins,” he said.
Polls suggest President Trump has few paths to a victory next month and almost none without North Carolina's 15 electoral votes. The latest RealClearPolitics average of the most recent polls show the race stuck in a virtual tie, with Biden leading by slightly more than one point.
Biden's running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, was originally scheduled to visit Asheville and Charlotte on Thursday. She canceled those visits Thursday morning after two of her staffers tested positive for COVID-19. In a statement released ahead of President Trump's visit, the Biden campaign attacked the president's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, noting more than 3,800 North Carolinians have lost their lives.
“Despite this pandemic, the only commitment President Trump has shown is to ending protections for as many as 4.1 million North Carolinians with pre-existing conditions and threatening health care for many more,” the statement read in part.