Lara Trump touts RNC changes and a 2024 presidential victory for Trump in North Carolina

May 24, 2024, 5:27 PM

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — To a room full of Republicans from across North Carolina on Friday, former President Donald Trump railed against the Biden administration and vowed to win in the state for a third time — all over a speaker phone call after his son Eric Trump dialed him on stage.

“I just want to thank all of the people of North Carolina. The support has been great and never wavered,” Donald Trump said, met by cheers from hundreds in the crowd.

The four-minute phone call kicked off keynote speeches from RNC co-chair Lara Trump and her husband, Eric Trump, at the North Carolina GOP Convention in Greensboro. The couple touted key changes to the national Republican Party under Lara Trump’s leadership and insisted on the necessity of getting Trump back in office.

“What we have going on in this country right now is not Republican versus Democrat or left versus right,” Lara Trump, a Wilmington, North Carolina, native, said during the couple’s almost 40-minute address. “It’s good versus evil.”

Lara and Eric Trump’s speech comes a year after Trump addressed North Carolina Republicans as a keynote speaker at the party’s 2023 convention — one of his first public appearances a few days after his first criminal indictment claiming he mishandled classified federal documents was handed down from a grand jury.

But a lot has changed at the state and national party since Trump’s June visit to the convention — including his daughter-in-law’s meteoric rise within the Republican National Committee.

Lara Trump became the RNC’s co-chair, the party’s top fundraising official, in March and serves as No. 2 to Michael Whatley, the new RNC chair and former chair of the North Carolina Republican Party who is expected to speak at the NCGOP Convention on Saturday. Both Whatley and Lara Trump came into their leadership positions looking to revitalize the party and ensure Trump’s victory in November.

In the weeks following their ascension, the RNC saw major shakeups in staffing and an increase in fundraising — the latter greatly needed to fund Trump’s growing legal fees as he faces multiple civil and criminal trials.

While Lara Trump is early in her role, Nancy Murray, a GOP delegate from Charlotte, said she has high hopes for what Trump’s daughter-in-law will bring to party leadership.

She also said Lara Trump may be a major improvement from previous longtime RNC chair Ronna McDaniel, who Murray believes is a RINO — a derogatory term for conservatives meaning Republican in Name Only.

Under McDaniel, Emily Bourgeois, another Charlotte delegate, said the party suffered financial issues and lost too many races across the country.

“I’m hopeful Lara Trump can bring this back,” Bourgeois said before the speech.

Lara Trump pitched the RNC shifts to the crowd as necessary changes to winning the 2024 election, which included an emphasis on getting Republicans to turn out in massive droves in November. She urged the crowd to vote as early as possible — including by mail-in ballots, which Republicans such as Trump previously admonished against — and take others to cast their ballots to make sure the election is “too big to rig.”

“Any way you can vote and as early as you can vote, get your vote banked,” Lara Trump said.

The couple levied significant criticism against the Biden administration, which included concerns on immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border and inflation. As a way to get back to the country’s “guiding principles,” Eric Trump told the crowd that he and Lara Trump were committed to leading Trump’s campaign to victory by November.

“We’re going to make America great again, and we’re going to do it together and we’re going to start in North Carolina,” Eric Trump said.

Other prominent conservatives are scheduled to speak at the Greensboro convention over the weekend, including former Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and North Carolina Republican gubernatorial candidate Mark Robinson.

National News

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Lara Trump touts RNC changes and a 2024 presidential victory for Trump in North Carolina