Local Politics

Bill Clinton makes case for Obama at Raleigh rally

Posted November 4, 2012
Updated November 5, 2012

— Former President Bill Clinton received a loud welcome from a crowd of 4,000 at a rally in a Raleigh park Sunday afternoon as he criss-crossed the country, stumping for President Barack Obama during the final days of the 2012 campaign.

Clinton praised Obama as a firm commander-in-chief who has also led an economic recovery.

"You've got to vote your hopes instead of your fears, North Carolina," Clinton said. 

The former president portrayed Obama's Republican opponent, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, as flip-flopping on major issues, likening him to the "chief contortionist at Cirque du Soleil."

"You should care whether your president is telling you the truth," Clinton said.

Clinton said that, if re-elected, Obama could continue to make investments in education, modern infrastructure such as rural broadband access, and public-private partnerships like Research Triangle Park.

Before Clinton, a line of speakers, including Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton and U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan, revved up the crowd at the Pullen Park Event Plaza and urged them to go to the polls on Election Day and take a friend, too.

"Make North Carolina bluer than ever," said state Sen. Dan Blue of Wake County.

Republicans pointed to Democrat's smaller advantage in the record 2.7 million early votes cast this year than in 2008 and said they are "confident that we will maintain this momentum on Election Day."

"If President Obama thought he could win North Carolina, he would be visiting the state himself," said Rachel Adams, state spokesperson for the Republican National Committee. "North Carolinians are choosing Mitt Romney because they refuse to settle for four more years of the same under President Obama."

Bill Clinton Raleigh Obama rally Clinton holds Raleigh rally for Obama

Participants in the Sunday rally said they hoped turnout would make the difference for Obama.

"The numbers are close," Obama supporter Elizabeth Carney said. "North Carolina is a battleground state. It's very critical that we have turnout."

Polls show a tight race between the two candidates in North Carolina, which Obama won by just 14,000 votes out of 4.3 million cast in 2008. He was the first Democrat to win the state since 1976.

Bill Clinton Raleigh Obama rally Bill Clinton speaks in Raleigh

A WRAL News poll released Tuesday found that 50 percent of likely voters would cast their votes for Romney and 45 percent for Obama. Both candidates were tied at about 45 percent in an Elon University poll released Monday.

Clinton never won North Carolina, while the Republican nominee won the state in 1992 and 1996. In addition to his 2008 general election victory, Obama defeated Hillary Rodham Clinton here in the Democratic primary.

First lady Michelle Obama will speak Monday at the Charlotte Douglass International Airport. She will be joined by pop star Mariah Carey and NBA star Derek Fisher. Tickets are being given away online on a first-come, first-served basis.

It's her first visit to Charlotte since the Democratic National Convention was held in North Carolina's largest city in early September.

President Obama's final campaign schedule includes stops in eight battleground states, including Wisconsin, Virginia and Ohio. It does not include North Carolina.

303 Comments

This story is closed for comments. Comments on WRAL.com news stories are accepted and moderated between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Oldest First
View all
  • oleguy Nov 7, 10:49 a.m.

    How did that work out for you O

  • josephlawrence43 Nov 6, 8:05 a.m.

    Plentycoups: Ok--if 99.9 % of the male population didn't need to serve as there was no draft (still isn't) and no need of one". If that is so, then why question Romney about his lack of service and then turn around and try to explain away or excuse Obama's lack of service??

  • Plenty Coups Nov 5, 7:50 p.m.

    "PlentyCoups: Obama missed Vietnam, yes. He could have volunteered to go in during Desert Storm/Desert Sheild, or some other time period--such as Grenada, Panama, etc. But, did he??? Nope.."

    99.9% of the male population didn't need to serve as there was no draft or neeed of one.

  • josephlawrence43 Nov 5, 7:47 p.m.

    it's pretty unethical to skirt tax laws and hide money in order to pay less taxes into your own country...especially if you later want to become the leader of that country : beaulahjackson4: First--it is completely legal to have money in off-shore accounts--Harry Reid does, Nancy Peolsi does, Obama does--so does your assertion of hiding money to avoid paying taxes to your own country still hold? Banks that operate in the Cayman islands include Bank of America, Wachovia, RBC, etc. If you have money in anyone of these banks. you probalby have money in the Caymans--are you hiding it to avoid paying taxes??

  • beaulahjackson4 Nov 5, 7:24 p.m.

    Romney's unethical dealings in business?" and this liberal lie isbased upon what facts? We know what Bill did. Now, prove what you are accusing-paultaylorsr100"

    For one, the United Auto Workers plan to file a formal complaint against Mitt Romney for allegedly failing to disclose his profits from the auto bailout.

    Two, not just me but others agree that, it's pretty unethical to skirt tax laws and hide money in order to pay less taxes into your own country...especially if you later want to become the leader of that country that you are unwilling to pay your fair share into. If you are just some rich guy taking advantage of the system then fine, but now you want to be president? Deplorable.

    The list does go on. Forgiving for so many other issues (like lying about a war that killed thousands of American men & women for $$) but not someone being unfaithful.

  • josephlawrence43 Nov 5, 7:02 p.m.

    PlentyCoups: Obama missed Vietnam, yes. He could have volunteered to go in during Desert Storm/Desert Sheild, or some other time period--such as Grenada, Panama, etc. But, did he??? Nope..

  • babedan Nov 5, 6:56 p.m.

    To bad the President has to rely on a more popular president than he to garner votes. Speaks volume of his own record doesn't it. If his record wasn't so weak, maybe he wouldn't have to rely on another President to get him votes.

  • jblake1932 Nov 5, 6:44 p.m.

    It will all be over with tomorrow nite with a new president elected!! Yea baby!!

  • jblake1932 Nov 5, 6:43 p.m.

    vinyalcar: Is there another word that you know of besides Keynesian? If you couldn't use that word, you probably couldn't type. Sad.

  • paultaylorsr100 Nov 5, 6:39 p.m.

    ". . . . Romney's unethical dealings in business?" and this liberal lie isbased upon what facts? We know what Bill did. Now, prove what you are accusing President Romney of.

More...