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Trump And Pence Hit The Campaign Trail


While the Democratic Convention is underway in Philadelphia amid some disarray, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is campaigning with his running mate, Mike Pence. The states of North Carolina and Virginia are the stops today. At a town hall in Roanoke, Trump addressed what's happening with the Democrats. Here he is talking about Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the DNC chair giving up her seat after an email leak scandal.


DONALD TRUMP: Debbie was totally loyal to Hillary. And Hillary threw her under a bus, and it didn't take her more than five minutes to make that decision.

SIEGEL: NPR's Sarah McCammon is traveling with the Trump campaign, and she joins us now. Sarah, what else did Trump have to say about the Democrats today?

SARAH MCCAMMON, BYLINE: And hi there, Robert. I should tell you I'm on the press bus, so you might hear the rumbling in the background.


MCCAMMON: But you know, Donald Trump and Mike Pence both went after Hillary Clinton and, you know, their Democratic rivals. In particular, as you heard, Trump attacked Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Democratic National Committee outgoing chairwoman, over the emails that had surfaced in this WikiLeak hack. He said that Hillary Clinton had been disloyal to Wasserman Schultz and suggested that she was fired, although it's important to point out that Wasserman Schultz did step back and say she wanted the convention and the Democratic Party to be able to move forward.

SIEGEL: There have been questions raised about how well Trump connects with his running mate, Governor Mike Pence of Indiana. Today they campaigned together. What did you see?

MCCAMMON: Well, they seemed to be having a good time. Definitely Donald Trump was front and center. He was the star, as - and you know, Mike Pence was doing his job as running mate, really being a cheerleader for Donald Trump, talking him up as the person that will pick Supreme Court justices that will advance conservative agendas. He talked about, quote, "the sanctity of life," you know, a nod to anti-abortion rights advocates and groups that have had some concerns about Donald Trump.

But again, you know, Pence really made Donald Trump the focus. And the two seemed to be having a good time together. They took a few questions together. Here's one thing that Pence had to say.


MIKE PENCE: Donald Trump have never forgotten the men and women in this country who work with their hands, who grow the food, who build our roads and bridges, who tend to are sick, teach our kids, protect our lives and bear the burden and pay the freight.

MCCAMMON: And for his part, Donald Trump called Pence a great guy. He said, quote, "I love this guy" and sort of ragged Hillary Clinton's running mate, Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, who of course is from Virginia. This event took place in Roanoke, so he mocked Tim Kaine a little bit and praised Mike Pence, his own running mate.

SIEGEL: Now, a number of new polls show Donald Trump getting a bounce and in one case jumping ahead of Hillary Clinton after the Republican National Convention. What did Trump have to say about that?

MCCAMMON: Well, Robert, you know, Donald Trump never misses a chance to mention polls that are in his favor. We certainly have seen that for the last several months, and today was no different. There are three new national polls that show Trump with a lead over Hillary Clinton after the Republican National Convention.

Another takeaway is that Hillary Clinton's lead among white college grads grew in one poll. The same poll saw Trump's lead with white, non-college-educated voters increase to nearly 40 - a 40-point gap. So that just shows the divide between college-educated and non-college-educated, white, working-class voters.

SIEGEL: That's NPR's Sarah McCammon traveling with the Trump campaign in Virginia. Sarah, thanks.

MCCAMMON: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Sarah McCammon worked for Iowa Public Radio as Morning Edition Host from January 2010 until December 2013.
Sarah McCammon
Sarah McCammon is a National Correspondent covering the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast for NPR. Her work focuses on political, social and cultural divides in America, including abortion and reproductive rights, and the intersections of politics and religion. She's also a frequent guest host for NPR news magazines, podcasts and special coverage.