North Carolina Attorney General and Democratic candidate for governor Josh Stein welcomed President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden during the president’s stop in Raleigh on Friday, taking the podium to push his campaign for governor.

“I’m running for governor because I love our home state, and I believe in the promise of North Carolina that if you work hard, where you come from should never limit how far you can go,” he told the crowd at the Jim Graham Building at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds.“To deliver on that promise, we must invest in our people and their futures so that together we can build a safer and stronger state where our economy continues to grow and works for all people. Where our public schools are excellent, and our teachers are well paid.”

He added that if he is elected governor, he would also veto any further restrictions on abortion.

Stein said as attorney general, he has fought for the people of North Carolina by tackling the opioid and fentanyl crisis by leading a national bipartisan coalition of state attorneys general to take “the big opioid drug companies” to court and winning more than $50 billion.

In addition, he said he has eliminated what had been the nation’s largest backlog of untested rape kits. Stein originally made that announcement on April 9.

Local law enforcement agencies, state lawmakers, the Department of Justice, and State Crime Lab have been focused on the backlog for several years. Now, 11,841 kits have been tested, leading to DNA matches.

The new rounds of testing have yielded 2,702 matches for offenders already in the DOJ’s database for other crimes. According to Department of Justice media reports, law enforcement has also made 114 arrests based on the testing results.

The backlog has been a bad mark on the state dating back to the time when Gov. Roy Cooper served as the state’s attorney general for 16 years.

North Carolina had one of the worst backlogs in the nation, according to advocacy group End the Backlog, which works on legislative reform and victims’ rights.

In 2019, the Republican-led General Assembly passed the Survivor Act, which provided money to address the more than 16,000 shelved tests, some of which dated back to the 1990s.

While Stein has been taking a victory lap over eliminating the backlog, others wonder why it took so long.

A new television ad launched by the Republican Governors Association (RGA) claims North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein “failed women” by taking years to address nearly 12,000 untested rape kits across the state that could lead to capturing suspected sexual offenders that were yet to be identified.

The nearly $1 million ad campaign launched in North Carolina’s three largest metro areas features a trauma nurse from Bear Creek speaking on camera:

“Rape victims endure pain and trauma when they come to the emergency room, and they deserve justice. But Attorney General Josh Stein took years to address the rape kit backlog…. Now Stein is bragging about his work on rape kits? How dare he?”

The latest poll from East Carolina University from the first week of June has the race between Stein and his opponent, Lt. Gov. and Republican candidate for governor, Mark Robinson, within 1%, despite Democrats already spending over $9 million before Republicans placed their first ad buy. Spry poll shows Robinson leading, as reported by Carolina Journal.

During the week of the debate and Stein’s appearance alongside Biden, the Robinson campaign spent $850,000 on an ad running across the state highlighting Robinson’s childhood in Greensboro.

“North Carolina voters are tired of far-left career politicians like Joe Biden and Josh Stein,” said Conrad Pogorzelski III, senior advisor to Robinson’s campaign. “Mark Robinson is the bold conservative outsider our state needs to draw a sharp contrast with liberal Josh Stein and his decades of climbing the political ladder. As governor, Mark Robinson will work every day to focus on solutions to the problems facing North Carolinians of all backgrounds and walks of life. And we’re excited to keep sharing his message with voters all across the state.”

On stage with Biden Friday, Stein called Robinson full of division and hate, while his own vision is forward-leaning and welcoming.

“He calls public school teachers wicked people and demons and says that gay people are filth, and even worse than that, he mocks school shooting survivors, calling them media prostitots,” Stein said. “He declares that women are not called to lead and said that Martin Luther King was a communist in the Civil Rights Movement. But it’s not just what he says, it’s what he would do. He wants to slash, that’s his verb, not mine, public school funding.”

Stein also claimed Robinson wants to make it harder for people to vote, and to completely ban abortion in this state, with no exceptions for rape, incest, or the life of the mother.

“He is a self-described conspiracy theorist,” Stein said. “He denies the 2020 election results, he denies the climate crisis, he even denies the Holocaust. Friends, we must deny him the governorship of North Carolina and we can, but it won’t be easy. We live in this state, and we know how tough elections are in this state.”

In his comments with Biden on Friday, Stein predicted that this November Democrats would break the supermajority in the General Assembly, put friendly judges on the bench, put like-minded people under the Council of State, defeat Mark Robinson, and keep the White House.

While he never talked about Biden in his remarks, he did open by saying that it was a great day to be with him and First Lady Jill Biden, and Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper, who said Stein needs to win the governor’s race to continue Democrats “progress.”

Robinson would call out Stein on X, saying, “Josh Stein says it’s a great day to be with President Joe Biden. After last night’s debate, how can he still support a man who is so clearly unfit to be commander-in-chief?”

A Robinson spokesperson in an email said, “Last night’s debate proved yet again what we’ve been saying for months – it is positively shameful that far-left career politicians like Josh Stein still stand with Joe Biden even as he is so clearly unfit to serve as commander-in-chief.”

Both sides of the aisle called Biden’s performance in Thursday night’s debate against former President Donald Trump disastrous.

Biden appeared to be out of it, not focused, and low on energy, stumbling over his words and freezing during the debate with Trump. Those on both sides of the aisle, including those in the media, like the New York Times, are calling for him to drop out of the presidential race.

People worldwide were also left stunned by Biden’s performance, with one person from Romania commenting on a thread on X, “I think the US is the laughing stock of the world.”