Mike Pence holds town hall campaign event in Raleigh

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Mike Pence spoke to ABC11's Jon Camp in Raleigh (WTVD)

Republican nominee for vice president Mike Pence campaigned again in North Carolina Thursday, a battleground state running mate Donald Trump probably needs in his column to win the White House this November.

The Indiana governor participated in a "town hall" meeting Thursday morning in downtown Raleigh before heading to campaign events in Norfolk, Virginia, later in the day.

Pence introduced himself to a crowd of about 300 people at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts as a Christian, conservative, and Republican - "in that order," he said. Pence visited the first time as a candidate last week in Winston-Salem during a joint appearance with Trump.

During his speech, he promoted a Trump presidency, saying Trump's straight talk reflects his ability to get things done and his politically incorrect style shows he's the genuine article and distinctly American.

"You have nominated a man for president who never quits, who never backs down," Pence said. "He is a fighter, he is a winner, and up until a short time ago it seemed like he was out there all on his own, but now this party is united. This movement is united, and we are going to make Donald Trump the next president of the United States of America."

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Governor Mike Pence

The Indiana governor also criticized President Barack Obama's recent comments that Trump lacks the judgment to be president. Instead, Pence said actions of Obama and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton reflect their poor judgment and set up a vacuum of power in Iraq that led to the rise of the Islamic State.

Pence said "we cannot have four more years of apologizing to and accommodating the enemies of our freedom."

"Donald Trump will stand up stand up for the security of the American people," Pence exclaimed. "He will confront those who threaten us and he will destroy ISIS and terrorists at their source."

Before Pence took questions from the audience, he got a standing ovation for his comment that "Donald Trump will never forget the thin blue line," and the promise that there will be "law and order in every community" of the United States.

Right after the event, Pence took some questions from ABC11, including one about North Carolina's controversial HB2 law.

"I believe the issues of that nature should be resolved at the state level - by the people. Whether it's Indiana or North Carolina, and to be able to work out those issues in the course of the public process," he said.

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Governor Mike Pence

His solo-visit came amid concerns from North Carolina's Republican Party brass over Trump's slow get-out-the-vote efforts here.

This week, Trump's campaign replaced Earl Phillips as his North Carolina campaign state director.

Trump has tapped Jason Simmons to take over. Simmons is a veteran of Mitt Romney's 2012 North Carolina campaign team which eked out a Tar Heel State victory over President Obama in their general election matchup.
Even with Trump's ground game struggles in North Carolina, he only trails Clinton by half a point here in the Real Clear Politics average of recent polls.

Clinton's running mate, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, held a rally Wednesday in Greensboro.

RELATED: Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Tim Kaine campaigns in North Carolina

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