FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. -- As President-Elect Donald Trump came to North Carolina for the second top in his victory tour, the rainy, overcast weather kept Trump's plane from landing in Fayetteville on Tuesday evening, diverting the flight to Raleigh. Trump joked that the drive from Raleigh to Crown Arena took longer than the flight.
"These people in N.C. are so nice," Trump told the crowd in Fayetteville, once he'd arrived an hour after he was scheduled to. "They said, 'They won't mind if you come another time.' I said, 'What?'"
Soon after North Carolina's outgoing governor, Pat McCrory, took his seat in the front row of the rally, Trump -- without mentioning that McCrory will fly to New York on Wednesday to meet with Trump about a possible position in his administration -- touted the quality of the people he has chosen so far.
"I believe that we're in the process of putting together one of the all time greatest cabinets in the history of the United States," said Trump, shortly before introducing the man he is nominating for U.S. Secretary of Defense, retired Army Gen. James Mattis.
Trump used his time in the home of the Army's famous 82nd Airborne to praise the military and thank the soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines there for their service throughout the years.
And he compared repairing the nation's economy to a war in itself, claiming that it will benefit the most vulnerable Americans with good-paying jobs.
"We'll have two simple rules when it comes to rebuilding this countries cities," Trump said. "Buy American and hire American."
Trump also looked to soften his image regarding issues on which he has been most criticized, including immigration.
"We will be the administration that ended illegal immigration. We will construct a great border wall, dismantle the criminal cartels, liberate our communities from gang violence and drugs," he said, but continued by saying, "We're going to have people come into our country -- by the thousands, the hundreds of thousands -- they're going to come in but they're going to come in legally."
Overall, this appearance seemed designed to transition Trump from the hardball campaigner to a more inspiring leader.
"I'm asking you to believe in your country and believe in your future," Trump said, in closing his 37-minute talk. "We are going to make America great again, greater than ever before. Thank you, North Carolina!"