Trump rally, High Point, NC
September 20, 2016
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From USA Today:
HIGH POINT, N.C. — Donald Trump continued to hit the terrorism issue Tuesday, telling backers in the must-win state of North Carolina that recent attacks require a tightening of immigration rules.
"Immigration security is national security," Trump said during a rally at High Point University.
Speaking just days after bombings in New York City and New Jersey and a stabbing spree in Minnesota, Trump said tighter borders include a crackdown on acceptance of refugees from war-torn nations in the Middle East because "we have no idea who they are."
Echoing his previous calls for a temporary ban on Muslim entry into the United States, Trump again proposed a suspension of immigration from countries with a history of terrorism.
During a later rally in Kenansville in eastern North Carolina, Trump told another cheering crowd that "we can't have these people come into the United States. ... We do not know who they are."
Obama administration officials said a vetting system of refugees is in place to block potential terrorists.
Less than a week before his first debate with Clinton, Trump continued to blame the former secretary of State for the rise of the Islamic State and attacked her for her reluctance to use the term "radical Islamic terrorism." Citing her comment that many Trump voters belong in a "basket of deplorables," Trump said that Clinton "talks tougher about my supporters than she does Islamic terrorism."
Clinton has said that Trump has trafficked in anti-Muslim rhetoric that the Islamic State and other extremist groups use to try and recruit followers, seeking to generate a war between Islam and the West.
“They want to use that to recruit more fighters to their cause by turning it into a religious conflict," Clinton said on Monday. "That’s why I’ve been very clear: We’re going after the bad guys, and we’re going to get them, but we’re not going to go after an entire religion and give ISIS exactly what it is wanting."
Trump also got into a little pre-debate hazing of Clinton, writing on Twitter: "Hillary Clinton is taking the day off again, she needs the rest. Sleep well Hillary — see you at the debate!"
Clinton, appearing on Steve Harvey's radio show, said she will use the debate "to communicate as clearly and fearlessly as I can" in the face of "the insults and the attacks and the bullying and bigotry" coming from Trump.
While "I can take that kind of stuff," Clinton added that "I'm not going to take what he says about everybody else."
Trump's strategy to capture the 270 electoral votes necessary to win the presidency includes winning all the states that Republican Mitt Romney took four years, including North Carolina, which the former Massachusetts governor won narrowly over President Obama in 2012.
An Elon University Poll of North Carolina voters released Tuesday shows a virtual tie, with a Trump lead of 44% to 43%, which is well within the margin of error. The RealClearPolitics website average of recent polls gives Clinton a lead of less than 1 percentage point.
North Carolina went Republican in every presidential election from 1980 (Ronald Reagan) to 2004 (George W. Bush), until Barack Obama carried it in 2008. Romney won it back for the GOP four years ago by around 2 percentage points.
Demographic changes have made the state a closely divided state politically.
"The Old North State tends to vote down the middle," said Jason Husser, director of the Elon University Poll.
Martin Kifer, director of the High Point University Poll, said victory in the Tar Heel State this year may well boil down to organization.
"There aren't a whole lot of 'persuadables' out there," he said. "So the work is to get people out."