N.C. Republican chairman Robin Hayes accused President Obama of giving an unfair advantage to Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, in Tuesday’s joint campaign appearance in Charlotte.
Hayes complained to reporters of the “absolute inequity and unfairness of a sitting president whose political appointee is the attorney general of the United States, whose running mate is endorsing a candidate under investigation by the FBI.”
The FBI won’t recommend criminal charges against Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email server while secretary of state, agency Director James Comey said shortly after Hayes spoke.
Obama and Clinton will appear together for a 3 p.m. rally at the Charlotte Convention Center.
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Attorney General Loretta Lynch met with former President Bill Clinton for 30 minutes aboard her plane in Phoenix on June 27. The meeting drew immediate criticism as a potential conflict of interest in the government’s investigation of the private email server Hillary Clinton used while secretary of state.
Lynch said she and the former president didn’t discuss the case, but last week expressed regret over the encounter.
GOP leaders say Obama should stop campaigning with Clinton to avoid any appearance of favoritism.
“This is unfair, it is inequitable,” Hayes said. “President Obama should not be here campaigning for Hilary Clinton nor should (Democrat candidate for governor) Roy Cooper or (U.S. Senate candidate) Deborah Ross be here campaigning with someone under investigation.”
Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, will appear in Raleigh on Tuesday night.
Gov. Pat McCrory will not attend the Trump rally, citing a family trip. Neither will Sen. Richard Burr, who is running for reelection but says his Senate work will prevent an appearance with Trump. Hayes said he will attend the rally.
Trump’s campaign machinery in North Carolina has been slim, but Hayes said Trump is “staffing up as we speak.” He depicted Trump’s work in the state as a partnership between state party and campaign officials.