Hillary Clinton campaigns in North Carolina

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Tuesday, July 26, 2016
Clinton addresses VFW
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Hillary Clinton addresses veterans at VFW convention in Charlotte

CHARLOTTE (WTVD) -- The importance of North Carolina in this election was no more evident than what we saw on the campaign trail Monday as Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump both made stops in the Tar Heel state.

North Carolina is considered a battleground state, with some calling it a purple state. Meaning it can go blue or red during the presidential election.

Hillary Clinton came to Charlotte Monday morning to speak to more than 10,000 veterans at the annual Veterans of Foreign Wars National Convention.

Related story: Trump gets convention bounce, drawing polls to dead heat

Clinton told the group that as veterans they need to know where the candidates stand on national security issues. She said a commander in chief faces no greater decision than the choice of sending American men and women to war.


"Force must only be used as a last resort and only with a clear and well thought out strategy," she said.

Taking a shot at Donald Trump, Clinton said she is not interested in being provocative or insulting. Instead, she wants to bring the country together.

"I have confidence. I have optimism. I don't understand people who trash talk about America - who talk about us as being in decline and who act as though we are not yet the greatest country that has ever been on the face of the Earth for all of history, she said.

Clinton also addressed the VA scandal and the long waits and poor health care that many veterans have seen. Clinton called it "heartbreaking and unacceptable" and said she has a plan to fix it.

Clinton said VA reform would be one her highest priorities if elected and she does not want to see the system privatized. She wants it reformed.

Following the VFW speech, Clinton spoke to campaign volunteers in Charlotte. She's next headed to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

Trump addresses the VFW on Tuesday.

Related story: Trump and Clinton tied in North Carolina

The Republican presidential nominee also appeared in Winston Salem Monday evening at a rally at the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum Annex at 8 p.m.

He was joined by his running mate Mike Pence along with Governor Pat McCrory and Senator Richard Burr.

Supporters in Winston-Salem lined up for hours, braving the heat, waiting to get their spot inside.

"You're going to be known as the president that saved our nation," said Jane Myers from Clemmons, N.C. in a message to Donald Trump.

She was one of many in line leading the crowd in chants and cheers outside the venue.

Trump came to North Carolina on the heels of the Republican National Convention and a bump in the polls.

"I think people are changing their minds," said fellow Trump supporter, Linda Abernathy.

Maria Mitchell was one of the many supporters in the Winston-Salem crowd on Monday. She said she's from Peru and moved to the U.S. and became a citizen 20 years ago. For her, immigration is an issue that has her supporting Donald Trump.

"Somebody that is actually going to close the borders and check everybody that walks in," said Mitchell.

One poll out Monday shows that between Trump and Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, Trump now has 48 percent of the support over Clinton's 45 percent. Although another poll has the two candidates tied at 42 percent.

That bump in support could be coming from former democratic rival, Bernie Sanders' supporters. Numbers on that side of it show one in four of his voters polled say they still won't vote the Clinton ticket.

It's that momentum that has voters hoping that Trump will rise to the top in November.

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