Rock the Red offers conservative alternative to DNC

by: Linzi Sheldon Updated:

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WEDDINGTON, N.C. - Organizers estimated more than 500 people attended the Rock the Red Rally, the conservative alternative to the Democratic National Convention, at Hunter Farm. The event featured musicians and speakers supporting conservative values.

Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio took the stage as the last speaker, but he was the one the crowd cheered for the most.

Arpaio is being sued by the U.S. Department of Justice, accusing of using racial profiling on immigration patrols.

He said that's not the case and criticized President Barack Obama's orders to stop deportation cases for some illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children.

"People play politics all the time, but I think he's played a little too far on the immigration situation," Arpaio said.

Other speakers talked about the election, health care, cutting spending, and supporting the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman.

Wendy Gumpert drove from Greensboro with her four children to help.

"We're here to Rock the Red," she said. "This is something we believe in."

The original event was going to be at Bojangles Coliseum with big-name performers like the Charlie Daniels band, Lee Brice, and Travis Tritt, but organizers couldn't sell enough tickets.

They blamed the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, which manages Bojangles Coliseum, for giving Ticketmaster incorrect information.

CRVA officials say the information was correct.

N.C. House Speaker Thom Tillis said grassroots events like this, no matter the size or venue, are key to winning in November.

"This is a grassroots event," he said. "This whole election is going to be won based on how we get out the vote how we go door to door, how we communicate the message. And this is a great way to do it."