Raleigh – Thom Tillis caved to political pressure on the emergency declaration, putting hundreds of millions in military spending on the chopping block, all to stave off a primary challenger and save his political skin. But according to one prominent former local GOP leader, that was all for naught.
Speaking on WCNC’s FlashPoint, Former Union County GOP chair Dan Barry predicted that Tillis will still face a primary and backlash from his party’s base and the far-right:
“I don’t think a primary challenge goes away. I think that he’s going to have a primary.”
Barry pinned a future primary challenge on Tillis’ weakness on the President’s emergency declaration, saying he was “surprised” to see Tillis’ flip-flop and that Tillis was a motivated by a potential primary:
“I was surprised to see him go so hard. And then to see him come back so far tells me he was getting pressure. I don’t think it was coming from the White House as much as it was the party base with a primary coming.”
Remember that primary talk first began when a different local GOP party chair “personally urged” Mark Walker to challenge Tillis, calling Walker the “one person who has kept his promises.”
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“Thom Tillis’ Olympic-style flip flop showed he’s weak, flailing from one position to another, and without the support of rank-and-file Republicans,” NCDP spokesman Robert Howard said. “When local party leaders are going on TV to admit that your weakness is welcoming a primary challenger, you know there’s serious cracks between you and your base.”