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Obama to Join Clinton at North Carolina Campaign Event

  • VOA News

FILE - Then-President-elect Barack Obama stands with then-Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., after announcing that she was his choice as secretary of state during a news conference in Chicago, Dec. 1, 2008.

FILE - Then-President-elect Barack Obama stands with then-Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., after announcing that she was his choice as secretary of state during a news conference in Chicago, Dec. 1, 2008.

President Barack Obama and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton will campaign together for the first time Tuesday in Charlotte, North Carolina.

At a rally at the Charlotte Convention Center, Obama and Clinton "will discuss building on the progress we've made and their vision for an America that is stronger together," her campaign said in a statement.

Obama, who formally endorsed Clinton's campaign early last month, said at the time he was "fired up" and ready to campaign for his former secretary of state. "Fired up" is a catchphrase from the president's own campaign eight years ago.

FILE - U.S. President Barack Obama announces that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will travel to Burma, Nov. 18, 2011.

FILE - U.S. President Barack Obama announces that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will travel to Burma, Nov. 18, 2011.

In throwing his support behind the former first lady, Obama said, "I know how hard this job can be. That's why I know Hillary will be so good at it. In fact, I don't think there's ever been someone so qualified to hold this office. She's got the courage, the compassion and the heart to get the job done."

The campaign hopes to use the president's appeal to motivate the party base to generate excitement for Clinton's campaign.

Obama and Clinton had planned to hold their first campaign event in Green Bay, Wisconsin, on June 15. The event was postponed following the mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, on June 12.

The Democratic Party sees North Carolina, a state with a Republican governor and a Republican-majority Legislature, as a battleground in the November general election.

North Carolina voted for Obama in the 2008 general election but voted for Obama's Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, in 2012, even though the Democratic Party held its national convention in Charlotte that year.

Clinton's campaign has run more than $10 million worth of advertising in the state, The Charlotte Observer reported this week.

Political news website Real Clear Politics said polling in the state showed Clinton leading presumptive Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump by slim margins in two recent surveys, while Trump led in a third by a similarly slim margin.

Just over a year ago, the president and Clinton were in Charlotte for the funeral for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, one of nine black churchgoers who were slain in a racially motivated attack.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during the opening session of the Western Conservative Summit in Denver, July 1, 2016.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during the opening session of the Western Conservative Summit in Denver, July 1, 2016.

Meanwhile, both parties are gearing up for their national conventions, scheduled for this month.

The Republican convention will be held in Cleveland July 18-21. The Democrats will meet in Philadelphia July 25-28.

The Republican Party has been struggling to fill its lineup of convention speakers, normally sought-after spots for party leaders and rising stars.

Several prominent Republican Party members have said they will not attend this year's convention because of the billionaire businessman's outspoken rhetoric. The candidate has called for a ban on Muslims and building a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border, among other things.

Neither former President George W. Bush nor his brother, Jeb Bush, whom Trump beat in the presidential nominee selection contests this year, will attend the convention. The party's two previous presidential nominees — former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and Arizona Senator John McCain — have also said they will not attend.

However, on Saturday, Trump tweeted that the speaker slots at the Republican National Convention were "totally filled, with a long waiting list of those that want to speak." He tweeted the list of speakers would be released Wednesday.

On Friday, while at the Western Conservative Summit in Denver, Trump said several of his family members would speak.

"My children are gonna be speaking at the convention," Trump said. "My children are all gonna be speaking. Ivanka, Tiffany, Don, Eric, they're gonna be speaking. My wife is gonna be speaking."

A Trump aide, Armstrong Williams, also tweeted Friday that former Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson, who now supports Trump's campaign, would speak at the convention.

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