As we go on, we’ll remember…all the messy times that Republican U.S. Senate candidates had together this year. From an early Trump endorsement that sent the field spiraling, to expensive, negative attacks ads flooding mailboxes and the airwaves, and countless personal attacks, the GOP primary has been a nasty fight. And there’s still five months to go. Take a look back at some of the bitter infighting between the primary rivals in North Carolina’s U.S. Senate race:
TRUMP TAILSPIN: Trump’s early endorsement of Congressman Ted Budd shot the primary out of a cannon, unleashing the first round of GOP infighting and “frustration.”
- After being rebuffed by the former president, McCrory attempted to downplay and question Trump’s early endorsement of Budd, saying “endorsements usually have very little impact on how people vote,” and that he was “disappointed” that Trump chose a “Washington insider who has done more to oppose the Trump agenda than anyone in this race.”
- Walker blamed the decision on past beef with Mark Meadows and called Budd a “bad candidate.”
- A senior adviser for Budd likened donating to the McCrory campaign to “buying stock in the Titanic after she hit the iceberg.” As the GOP primary infighting escalated, Republican pollster Paul Shumaker — former Governor Pat McCrory’s top political adviser – even released a memo that “raised doubts…about the value of a Trump endorsement.”
- Club for Growth has pledged to spend millions in the race, releasing television ads calling McCrory a “fool” for providing economic incentives to a Chinese-owned company when he was Governor, highlighting McCrory’s losing record, crediting his gubernatorial loss to his comments “publicly trashing” former President Trump and calling McCrory a “disloyal, liberal, loser.” Most recently, they sent out a “hit job” of a mailer, slamming the former governor for past ethical and corruption allegations.
PERSONAL ATTACKS FLY: The candidates have consistently attacked each other on their political career.
- Straight out of the gate, Mark Walker questioned McCrory’s political credentials, tweeting: “why would we gamble on Pat McCrory – a career politician who has lost more statewide races than he’s won?”
- McCrory has attacked Budd, claiming he has “no record” and blasting him for Club for Growth’s high-dollar support, saying he is “owned by the Club for Growth” and has “voted everything they’ve asked him to vote on their way.”
- A Budd adviser said “Pat McCrory has the deft touch of a tier-one professional politician when it comes to working over fat cats and raising big dollars,” while McCrory slammed Budd’s “inability to capitalize on his own special interest help from Washington” and hit his “inconsistent voting record.”