‘Fate of the republic’ rests with voters, Obama says at UNC

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) — President Barack Obama said the fate of the republic rests with the voters as he addressed a crowd of thousands Wednesday at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

The president took the stage around 3:45 p.m. and ripped Republican nominee Donald Trump, saying he is “not equipped to be president.”

PHOTOS: President Obama’s visit to UNC

“I hate to put pressure on you, North Carolina. But the fate of the republic is teetering on you,” he said. “A man you can bait with a tweet cannot be trusted with the nuclear weapons.”

“We have to stop thinking his behavior is normal.”

The president’s speech comes less than a week before Election Day. Attorney General Roy Cooper, Deborah Ross and Rep. G.K. Butterfield were in attendance for the rally.

Obama was very direct to the crowd, saying if North Carolina votes for Hillary Clinton, she’ll win the presidency.

“I am not on the ballot. But i’ll tell you what, fairness is on the ballot. Decency is on the ballot. Justice is on the ballot. Progress is on the ballot Our democracy is on the ballot right now,” Obama said. “I ran against McCain and Romney and I never thought running against them that the republic was at risk (if they won).”

After tearing into Trump, Obama began to praise Hillary Clinton, saying she has the grit and experience required to run the country.

“She made me a better president,” Obama said of Clinton.

Obama discussed Sen. Richard Burr’s comments about Clinton. Burr was recorded saying he was surprised Clinton didn’t have a bullseye on her in a magazine photo.

“You don’t talk about violence against public officials,” he said.

Burr did apologize for that comment.

The Republican National Committee responded to the president’s visit by saying Obama and Clinton owe answers for broken promises they’ve made and for the financial consequences of Obamacare.

RELATED: President Obama to hold rally for Clinton at UNC on Wednesday

North Carolina’s own James Taylor performed at the event. Taylor also performed at President Obama’s inaugurations in 2009 and 2013.

The president’s appearance was the eighth time a sitting U.S. president has visited UNC.

The rally was being hosted by the UNC-Chapel Hill Young Democrats.

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