NCGOP convention headlined by potential Trump VP picks

Tom George Image
Sunday, May 26, 2024
NCGOP convention headlined by potential Trump VP picks
It was a busy weekend in North Carolina politics as our state takes center stage in the race for the White House.

GREENSBORO, N.C. (WTVD) -- It was a busy weekend in North Carolina politics as our state takes center stage in the race for the White House.

The NC Republican Party convention in Greensboro wasn't just getting ready for the national convention in Milwaukee which is set to re-nominate Former President Donald Trump for president; it was also a chance in a key battleground state for two potential Trump running mates to take the stage.

The star of the night was someone many are just meeting for the first time, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum.

Burgum has been floated as a potential Trump Vice President pick and says he has a lot in common with the former president - they're both businessmen and Burgum was even in court to support Trump this week.

"I never in my career saw a CEO in any industry work as hard as Trump works every single day and when he's working that hard he's working that hard for you and for our country, that's why he's doing it," Burgum told the crowd.

But for Trump supporters, lunch headliner Vivek Ramaswamy needed no introduction.

Some in the crowd began chanting "VP, VP," making it clear they wanted to see Ramaswamy as Trump's number two.

Ramaswamy also took the stage with Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, who said he believes they're both a part of a more diverse GOP.

"This is just not just the party of old rich white guys, this is the party of true inclusion and true freedom and we always have been," Robinson said.

But at a time in North Carolina when DEI programs have come under debate, Robinson made it clear he opposes those initiatives.

"We need to get back to teaching civics and history not that 1619 false garbage," Robinson said.

He said he would appoint state school board members who feel the same.

"When I take office in January guess what I get to do? I get to flip that board not upside down but right side up," he said.

Robinson also vowed to tackle the economy and is drawing a contrast with Democratic opponent Josh Stein in a tight race

"Josh Stein is part of a losing team," he said. "I'm part of a winning team."

With Trump and Robinson leading the ticket, the NCGOP is hoping to keep the state red after Trump narrowly carried North Carolina in 2020.

They are getting help from some North Carolina connections at high levels - former state party chair Michael Whatley is now the RNC Chair and believes our state is crucial to the GOP's path to the White House.

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He said Trump's choice of running mate would also be important as Trump tries to persuade battleground state voters. Whatley said Trump would be closely watching Burgum and Ramaswamy's speeches to see how they perform on the campaign trail.

"I think it'll be terribly important. I think it's got to be somebody that the president feels comfortable that he can work with on a daily basis and somebody that can be the next president of the United States. I know he is looking at this process and he'll make his decision when it's time," Whatley said.

He also signaled a change in strategy showing more support for early voting, something that Democrats historically have taken advantage of in larger numbers. Whatley believes Republicans need to play at the same level, and will be urging supporters to "bank their votes" before Election Day this fall.