With the Faithful at Trump’s North Carolina Rally: ‘He Speaks Like Me’ – The New York Times

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — Rick Myers traveled from central California — 2,861.9 estimated miles, according to a sign he was carrying — to arrive more than seven hours early at President Trump’s rally on Monday.

“I wanted to see it for myself,” Mr. Myers said, pointing to the long line of people waiting to enter the Crown Theater. There were two main draws: the crowd of like-minded superfans, and the prospect of hearing the president “tell it like it is” about undocumented immigrants, he said.

The president soon delivered.

“North Carolina has released thousands of dangerous criminal aliens into your communities and you see it,” Mr. Trump said. “The charges against these free criminals include sexual assault, robbery, drug crimes and homicide. Murder!”

Of Democrats, Mr. Trump said: “Your way of life is under assault by these people.”

Two months after Mr. Trump’s last North Carolina rally, where supporters unleashed a “send her back” chant about a Somali-American congresswoman that was immediately denounced as racist, the president did what the president often does. On Monday night, rather than deliver a speech tailored only to conventional topics like a crucial special congressional election in North Carolina on Tuesday, or about economic numbers that White House officials have been trying to tout, Mr. Trump brought his signature brand of identity politics — steeped in racial division and fears of white Christian replacement — to a crowd that was eager to embrace those themes.


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