September 19, 2019/Press

GOP Senate Primary Gets Increasingly Nasty as Tucker Skewers Tillis for Dishonest Flip-Flops & Broken Promises

Raleigh – Self-funding primary challenger Garland Tucker tore into Senator Thom Tillis at a campaign stop in Asheboro this week, slamming the incumbent for his record of blatant hypocrisy — including that “Olympic gold flip-flop” on Trump’s national emergency declaration. With Tucker continuing to make gains against a Senator who’s so weak he’s underwater with Republican primary voters, Tillis is hitting the panic button to try to claw back his long-lost credibility with North Carolina Republicans. Over the past week, Tillis has started to spend half his cash on hand for a $2.2 million ad buy “designed to blunt criticism from within his own party” (where he couldn’t even edit out the sound of his own party booing him at a Trump rally).


Asheboro Courier-Tribune: US Senate candidate makes stop in Asheboro
By Larry Penkava
September 18, 2019

Key Points:

  • Tucker said he supported Tillis when he ran against Sen. Kay Hagan in 2014. “I liked his platform and felt he was a good conservative,” Tucker said of Tillis. “Then I noticed how he was voting and I became disillusioned, that his votes were not in line with his campaign promises. Others shared those concerns and talked me into running.”
  • He also said Tillis “flip-flopped” on border security, first writing an op-ed against building a wall and then voting for the wall. “He’s on both sides of the issue,” Tucker said.
  • He also blames Tillis for backing away from his 2014 campaign slogan to “cut, cap and balance” federal spending. “Four times he’s voted to raise the debt limit and four out of five times to break spending limits,” Tucker said, adding that President Trump proposed cutting foreign aid and Tillis opposed that.
  • “In 2014, the national debt was at $16 trillion,” Tucker said. “Today the debt is up to $22 trillion.
  • “In 2014, Tillis criticized Kay Hagan on the farm bill,” Tucker said, “then he voted for the same bill.” The same thing happened with the Export-Import Bank, Tucker said of Tillis criticizing Hagan for her support and then supporting the bank himself.
  • “I felt like he was elected as a conservative but didn’t vote that way,” Tucker said of Tillis. “He votes with the more liberal side of the Republicans. He energized conservatives in 2014 but wasn’t as conservative as he said he was.”
  • His 2020 campaign has run three rounds of ads focused on Tillis’ record, he said. A poll taken last November after Tucker announced his candidacy showed Tillis with a 63-7 percent lead. By July, polls showed the gap had narrowed to 40 percent for Tillis, 30 percent for Tucker and 30 percent undecided. An August poll was 38-31-30.
  • “The race continues to tighten,” Tucker said. “I’m convinced we can get a majority of the undecided.”