From NBC/NJ's Mike Memoli
JACKSONVILLE, NC -- Clinton continued pressing Obama for a debate here this morning, saying that each state has a unique set of issues that deserve discussion.
Clinton, joined outside a fire house near Camp Lejune by retired military leaders, told several hundred supporters that she was happy the campaign has continued in North Carolina, because there is "no better place to be in the springtime." She made a pitch for her campaign's interactive "NC Ask Me" feature, in which people can submit questions online and get an answer -- some of which have been used in television ads.
"It has been great, and we've gotten over 14,000 questions," she said. "We have answered every one of those questions. But the only question I can't answer is why Sen. Obama won't debate me in North Carolina. And I'd sure like to give an answer."
She said that each upcoming state deserves their own debate, because "the issues in Pennsylvania are not the same as the issues in North Carolina," and "the issues in North Carolina aren't the same as the issues in Indiana."
"There's all kinds of issues that we should be debating about right here in North Carolina," she said. "So again I offer that I'll go anywhere at any time. And we'll have that debate as long as Sen. Obama would agree to actually meet me. I think that would be good for the voters and it would be good for this important campaign."
Today, Clinton also encouraged supporters to vote early, immediately after the event even at the fire station just feet from where she stood. "It's an opportunity for those who have busy lives like most of us these days to actually go in and vote," she said.
She again promised an active campaign in the Tar Heel State, and even asked for the crowd's help in keeping an eye on her husband's eating habits.
"My husband loves North Carolina, and he loves barbecue," she said. "And he's been eating a lot of it across the state."
The former president has held 25 events on five separate trips to the state already, the most recent of which occurred on Wednesday. Someone in the audience urged Clinton to send her husband to the beach for a more nutritious meal.
"Okay, send him to the beach, you'll serve him fish. That's a deal," she said.