'The Donald:' NC GOP can bring it on
Posted June 1, 2012 4:01 a.m. EDT
Updated June 2, 2012 9:39 a.m. EDT
RALEIGH, N.C. — Almost 1,000 faithful members of the North Carolina Republican Party showed up Friday to hear Donald Trump give the opening keynote at the party's annual convention in Greensboro.
At the three-day event, Republicans will vote on a platform, elect delegates to the Republican National Convention and picking two Republican National Committee members.
They also will receive training as they seek to help Mitt Romney win North Carolina's 15 electoral votes after President Barack Obama narrowly won the state four years ago.
"Whoever wins North Carolina wins the election, have you heard that," Trump asked."You are in a very important position. You are the ones who can bring it on."
During his 50-minute speech, Trump touched on issues ranging from wind energy to jobs, Iran and Obama's birth certificate. While most leading Republicans have backed away from questioning the president's birthplace, Trump has continued to raise the question.
He also touted his relationship with Romney, the likely GOP presidential nominee. "We've done a great job together," Trump said. "He's very happy with me and I'm very happy with him."
The crowd to hear Trump speak was so large, the address had to be moved to a bigger room at the Koury Convention Center. "He volunteered to come and we were thrilled to have him," said Robin Hayes, chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party.
Hayes said Trump's business accumen made him an ideal speaker. "He's a new North Carolina businessman," Hayes added. Trump recently bought The Point in Charlotte. He plans to rename the lake-front golf course "Trump International."
Over the weekend, two former presidential candidates — former Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota and Texas Gov. Rick Perry — will speak at convention.