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Monday September 23rd, 2019 3:18AM

The Latest: Trump touts NC as 'big 2nd Amendment state'

By The Associated Press
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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump's rally in North Carolina (all times local):

7:50 p.m.

President Donald Trump is touting North Carolina as a "very big 2nd Amendment state" as Congressional Democrats push for expanded background checks for gun purchases.

Trump is campaigning on behalf of Republican Dan Bishop in a closely watched special election. He says Bishop is going to "protect your 2nd Amendment."

Trump is also emphasizing immigration issues. He tells supporters at the campaign rally in Fayetteville that "to protect your family, you must defeat open borders."

Bishop is running against Democrat Dan McCready in a Republican-leaning congressional district.

A Republican loss in Tuesday's special election, combined with a wave of recent bad headlines, could portend trouble for the president's 2020 reelection campaign.

__

5:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump is getting briefed on the storm damage that Hurricane Dorian caused in North Carolina after bad weather Monday forced officials to scrap a helicopter tour the president planned to take with the state's governor so that he could get a firsthand look.

Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, says there were three deaths in the state connected to the storm and 3,500 people are still without power.

Cooper says he appreciated the president's efforts to view the damage personally and hopes the administration will approve an expedited disaster declaration.

Floodwaters receding from North Carolina's Outer Banks have left behind a muddy trail of destruction.

Trump received the briefing on Air Force One after it landed in Havelock. He will speak later at a political rally in Fayetteville.

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3:15 p.m.

President Donald Trump says he doesn't think a special election Tuesday in North Carolina is a bellwether for his performance in the state next year.

Speaking to reporters before leaving the White House to campaign for Dan Bishop, the Republican in that race, Trump is tamping down expectations for the vote to fill a vacant House seat representing the once-reliably GOP district.

Trump is holding a rally for Bishop Monday as he faces off with Democrat Dan McCready in the final stroke of the 2018 midterm elections, which saw Republicans lose control of the House.

Trump insists the midterms were not a referendum on his presidency, and says his efforts to help embattled GOP Senate candidates went unnoticed.

He adds, "We're very happy with the way we've done."

__

7:45 a.m.

President Donald Trump's rally in North Carolina will serve as a measure of his clout in trying to elect a Republican to the House in a closely watched special election that's seen as a tossup race.

It will be his first campaign rally since a tough end of summer that saw slipping poll numbers, warning signs of an economic slowdown and a running battle over hurricane forecasts.

Trump will visit the state Monday night on the eve of the House election. He enjoys wide popularity within his own party, but a GOP defeat in a red-leaning state could portend trouble for his reelection campaign.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Elections, General Election News, General Presidential Election News, General House Election News, AP Elections - Campaigns
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