Raleigh, N.C. — Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton rallied her supporters Wednesday afternoon with a wide-ranging speech at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds Expo Center.
Clinton's mid-week stop marks her second time in Raleigh since March and comes one day after her stop in Columbus, Ohio, where she delivered a lengthy speech blasting Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump, calling him "reckless and careless."
On Wednesday, Clinton spoke for about 50 minutes to a crowd of about 1,000 people. She outlined five specific goals to realize her vision:
- Pass the biggest investment in good-paying jobs since World War II in her first 100 days
- Make debt-free college education available to all Americans
- Let workers share in the profits they help create
- Ensure Wall Street and the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share of taxes
- Put families first and match policies to how they actually live and work in the 21st century
She did not launch into Trump right off the bat, but instead talked in detail about policy.
Clinton discussed the wage gap among Americans, calling it "excessive and unsustainable." She also called for "rewriting the rules" to make sure companies share profits with their employees.
In front of a cheering crowd, she vowed not to raise taxes on the middle class and said she would work to expand Social Security.
Clinton spent time discussing affordable child care and pre-school for people in every community.
"Education is still the pathway for greater opportunities for many Americans," she said.
Former Gov. Jim Hunt and Durham public school teacher Alicia Wilkerson introduced Clinton. Hunt, 79, was elected to four terms as governor, 1977-1985 and 1993-2001.
Wilkerson’s children benefited from the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, according to the Clinton campaign. SCHIP offers health coverage to uninsured children whose families earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but too little to afford private coverage.
Toward the end of her speech, Clinton took aim at Trump, saying, "he has no real strategy for creating jobs - just a string of empty promises."
She also said the Republican presidential hopeful has attacked her personally and has attacked the Clinton Foundation, which serves the world's poor.
"Donald Trump uses poor people to design his line of suits and ties," she said. "Here in North Carolina, you know as well as anyone that our economy is already too unpredictable for working families. We can't let Donald Trump bankrupt America the way he bankrupted his casinos."
Clinton also said "the self-proclaimed King of Debt" has no credible plan for making college more affordable or rebuilding the country's infrastructure, "apart from his wall."
This year, North Carolina is a coveted "purple state," which could go either way in the upcoming presidential election.
North Carolina will get serious attention and ad dollars once again, and unaffiliated voters will likely make the difference.
The trend began in 2008 when President Barack Obama won North Carolina by the closest margin, and in 2012, when he lost the state in the tightest contest nationwide.
Wednesday night, North Carolina Republicans countered Clinton's economic plans, saying that the state has become the fastest growing economy in the nation under Republican leadership.
"Hillary Clinton's economic agenda will only serve as a four year extension of President Obama's unsustainable tax and spend policies," said NCGOP Chairman Robin Hayes.