The Latest: GOP supporters pack venue for Trump speech

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – The Latest on the appearance of President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump (all times local).

10 p.m.

Thousands of Republicans have turned out in Raleigh to support presumptive nominee Donald Trump’s appearance that was made just hours after President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton campaigned together in Charlotte.

Trump addressed a crowd of more than 2,200 supporters who braved intermittent downpour Tuesday evening to see him speak at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts.

Trump recited campaign promises to the energetic audience that roared at his digs at Clinton and cheered when he vowed to bring jobs to the state and increase support services for veterans.

Lt. Gov. Dan Forest spoke briefly about an hour before Trump took stage. A handful of General Assembly members were in attendance. A spokesman for Gov. Pat McCrory says the governor was unable to attend the rally due to a previously scheduled trip out of state. McCrory has said he will back Trump.

Authorities say they peacefully escorted two protesters from the auditorium.


3:10 p.m.

Democratic Senate candidate Deborah Ross and gubernatorial candidate Roy Cooper are urging supporters in Charlotte to vote in November and bring their party victory.

Ross told a crowd Tuesday at the Charlotte Convention Center that North Carolina is on the national map and will be painted Democrat-blue in November. Ross is challenging incumbent Republican Sen. Richard Burr, who she called a “classic example” of politics as usual.

Cooper followed Ross onto the stage. He said Republican Gov. Pat McCrory failed to make education a priority and signed the state law that limits some legal protections to LGBT people. Cooper said the law has cost the state thousands of jobs and should be repealed.

Cooper said President Barack Obama and presumptive presidential nominee Hillary Clinton recognize the state’s election importance.


2:25 p.m.

North Carolina Democratic Rep. Alma Adams warmed up the crowd awaiting President Barack Obama and presumptive presidential nominee Hillary Clinton at a rally at the Charlotte Convention Center focusing on topics such as gun violence and voting.

The 12th District representative talked about the recent sit-in in the House of Representatives and the efforts of Democratic lawmakers to pass legislation to end gun violence as well as attempts to raise the minimum wage. She said that those efforts wouldn’t advance if Donald Trump is elected president. She said Trump is like “the rooster who thinks that the sun comes up just to hear him crow.”

Adams also targeted North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, calling on him and the General Assembly to end their attacks on the LGBT community, and making a call to fully repeal House Bill 2. She also issued a plea to the crowd to register to vote in November, adding that people need to make sure the information on their registration is up to date to ensure they can vote.

As Adams spoke, people continued to enter the Charlotte Convention Center to see Obama and Clinton.


1:45 p.m.

The North Carolina NAACP is calling on presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump to embrace policies of historical Republicans who fought for voting rights and higher wages in the state and reject a campaign that has been marked by racial tension and mistrust.

North Carolina NAACP president The Rev. William Barber and a handful of faith leaders held a news conference in Raleigh the morning of Trump’s scheduled visit to the state’s capital city Tuesday.

Barber says Trump’s rhetoric is a representation of “Southern strategy” to divide voters and says it falls in line with recent policies supported by Gov. Pat McCrory and the state’s GOP-dominated General Assembly.

Barber says he expects opposition at Trump’s speech but does not know of any formal plans for nonviolent protests or arrests.

Barber says he will not attend any of the campaign events Tuesday and will work on efforts to educate and recruit voters.


1:25 p.m.

Hundreds of people have begun filing into the Charlotte Convention Center in advance of the appearance of President Barack Obama and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

Some people wanting to attend the rally had arrived around 6 a.m., when the temperature was already in the 80s.

By lunchtime, some people in the long lines forming outside the convention center were using umbrellas to shield themselves from the sun. The temperature had reached 93 degrees as the first groups of people were allowed to enter.

Once inside, the crowd was initially entertained by recorded music, but a jazz ensemble near the back of the hall where the rally was taking place had begun playing music.


6:30 a.m.

Democratic governor candidate Roy Cooper and U.S. Senate hopeful Deborah Ross are looking to build momentum when they join fellow party members at the joint appearance of President Barack Obama and presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton for a rally in Charlotte.

The rally is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon at the Charlotte Convention Center. Cooper and Ross are scheduled to speak, as is 12th Congressional District Rep. Alma Adams.

A few hours later, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump plans a rally at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in Raleigh.

North Carolina has 15 electoral votes in the 2016 election. The state voted for Obama for president in 2008 and for Republican nominee Mitt Romney in 2012.

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