President Trump lauded Charlotte and North Carolina Republicans as he visited the city for an event to sign a measure on retirement security and attend a fundraiser.
“I’m thrilled to be back in Charlotte,” Trump said. “It’s a very special place. So special that we chose it for the 2020 Republican National Convention.”
The president visited Central Piedmont Community College’s Harris Campus where he made note of his golf course on Lake Norman and praised state party members including attending members of Congress Ted Budd, Richard Hudson, Virginia Foxx, Mark Meadows and Patrick McHenry, as well Lt. Gov. Dan Forest.
Budd and Mark Harris are the beneficiaries of a fundraiser the president is holding at the Carmel Country Club in Charlotte.
While at the event, Trump also touted the economy and tax cuts enacted by Republicans before signing the retirement security order. The order directs the Labor and Treasury departments to issue new regulations to help small businesses pool together to provide retirement plans for their workers.
Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta, who attended today's event at CPCC, issued a statement afterward saying President Trump's executive order would "help provide greater opportunities for workers to save for the future and retirement."
"Allowing small and mid-size businesses to come together to sponsor retirement plans for their employees can provide pathways for the financial security of families across our nation," Acosta said. "The Department embraces the President’s goal of making retirement security simpler and more convenient for millions of Americans.”
Trump was also met by protesters in Charlotte. Outside of the Carmel Country Club, at least 50 to 60 protesters greeted the president's motorcade with signs and chants. One protester, Rachelle Salo, wanted to call out Harris, a candidate in the 9th district, for raising money with the president.
"We felt that this was a time to make a statement about the hypocrisy," Salo said. "Mr. Harris is running a campaign as a pastor about moral values but yet he's choosing to fundraise with a man who is a known philanderer, adulterer, liar. How many commandments can we break?"
Another protester, Amanda Hancock, said the president should expect this kind of response in 2020 for the Republican National Convention.
"We're looking forward to the RNC because this is just a little taste of what's to come," Hancock said. "We're going to let everybody know that we're here and we're not going to stand for the corruption and we're going to show them what Charlotte's all about."
William Grizzell, who identified himself as a Trump supporter outside of the country club and was joined by a group of supporters, said he doesn't agree with the president on everything but he believes he cares deeply about the country.
"We have had just awful, terrible people, for literally my entire lifetime — 26 years," Grizzell said. "I'm just glad to see somebody who at least, even if I don't agree with them on every detail, seems to care about the country."