SELMA, N.C. (WNCN) — Former President Trump took the stage to a thunderous roar at a rally in central North Carolina early Saturday evening.
People started showing up a day earlier at “The Farm at 95″ Friday to see Trump speak. Hundreds of also people began camping out Friday ahead of the “Save America” rally.
The doors to the event opened at 2 p.m. Saturday and within hours, hundreds of people had chosen their seats at the rally.
Trump took the stage just after 7 p.m. and began speaking to thousands, as many waved “Save America” placards.
The former president spoke for the first several minutes about illegal immigration and the public health law known as Title 42.
The Biden administration has announced it was winding down a public health law that has limited asylum-seekers in the name of preventing the spread of COVID-19. Title 42 authority is now set to expire in May.
Border Patrol officials say they are planning for as many as 18,000 arrivals daily once Title 42 authority expires. Last week, about 7,100 migrants were coming a day to the southern U.S. border.
Trump spoke for about 25 minutes before he introduced one of several candidates who he has endorsed in North Carolina races.
Representative Ted Budd, who is now looking to secure a Senate seat in North Carolina, was the first to speak at the rally while Trump stood nearby and shook Budd’s hand as he later left the stage.
North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, who earlier endorsed Budd, then took the stage with an introduction by Trump, who again stood nearby.
First-term Congressman Madison Cawthorn and Congressional hopeful Bo Hines also spoke before Trump at the rally which is at a venue just northeast of Selma along Interstate 95.
Following those joining him on the stage, Trump then continued to speak for at least another 35 minutes, at one point mentioning a passing train that was blowing its whistle.
For Trump fans and conservatives at the rally, the issues they say are top of mind are increased inflation, leading to a heightened cost of living and gas prices.
“What we are seeing now is the truth fighting itself,” said Lashue Sharpless who was at the rally Saturday afternoon. “What you see is everything that you had, you don’t have anymore, more of what you had to spend and save as a family you have less of that.”
The rally took place less than six weeks ahead of North Carolina’s primary election on May 17.
President Joe Biden will travel to Greensboro on Thursday to discuss topics such as rebuilding the supply chain and battling inflation.
The North Carolina Democratic Party later released a statement about Trump’s rally.
“Tonight, we saw that Trump’s handpicked candidates will sell out North Carolina families to further their political career rather than go to work for the people of our state. With his blistering attacks on fellow Republicans, the former president kicked off another round of nasty infighting and chaos in the GOP U.S. Senate primary,” the Democratic statement said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report