Donald Trump Jr. rallied a crowd of about 150 supporters at an airplane hangar in Mooresville Thursday morning, telling them to focus on the issues and Hillary Clinton’s record instead of his father’s “potty mouth.”
In a brief speech in front of a prototype ground attack airplane manufactured by IOMAX, Trump said people should concentrate on sending a businessman to the White House to break up partisan gridlock and break the control of elites on Washington D.C. Trump Jr. said the election offers a chance to assemble a cabinet of business leaders and people who aren’t “bureaucrats from Washington” to run the country.
He also brought up Clinton’s labeling of some of his father’s supporters as “deplorables,” a name she apologized for.
“You’re not deplorables to me. I’m with you,” Trump told the crowd. They also posed for a photo with him in front of the open hangar.
“Look at the camera. Everybody say deplorables,” Trump said.
North Carolina Democratic Party Chair Patsy Keever slammed Trump Jr. and his father in a statement.
“Despite Donald Trump Jr.’s attempt to dismiss his father’s appalling statements as just ‘potty mouth,’ as more and more women come forward to recount sexual assault at the hands of Donald Trump, it’s become clear that the words on that tape reflect decades of disgusting behavior towards women,” she said.
Several media outlets reported Thursday that the Trump campaign is pulling out of Virginia to focus resources on North Carolina, a critical swing state. Clinton leads Trump in North Carolina by 2.6 percentage points, according to an average of statewide polls by Real Clear Politics.
Trump told the crowd that his father’s supporters are more enthusiastic than Democrats, and that “enthusiasm gap” would help Donald Trump win the election.
“This isn’t a campaign anymore. This is a movement,” he said.
Several people in the crowd said that they were disappointed in top Republican leaders who have stopped supporting Trump in light of a 2005 videotape that emerged Friday. In the video, Trump is heard making vulgar comments of a sexual nature about women.
One man said he was “ashamed of the Republican Party.” And a woman in the crowd asked Trump Jr. how to give directly to his father’s campaign and to ensure none goes to the Republican National Committee. They said Trump’s taped comments weren’t enough to dissuade them from voting for him.
“You really don’t know these days what’s true and what’s not, what’s coming from the media,” said Bill Ross, 76, a Trump supporter from Mooresville. “I’m making up my own mind.”
“The people elected Trump to represent them as Republicans,” he said, “and I’m really ashamed the party has not been able to come together and support him as the nominee.”
A campaign representative said Trump was not taking media questions after his speech.
His visit comes one day before his father is set to hold campaign rallies in Greensboro and Charlotte.