April 30, 2019/Press

NEW: Meadows Predicts “Legitimate” Primary Challenger for Tillis, Latest NC Republican to Signal Tillis’ Weakness

Raleigh – North Carolina Representative and Freedom Caucus Chair Mark Meadows this morning declined to “fully support” Senator Tillis and predicted Tillis will have a “legitimate” primary opponent because of his growing issues with North Carolina Republican voters, becoming the latest in-state Republican to send up a flare about Senator Tillis’ weakness with voters. North Carolinians – Republicans and moderates alike – have hammered Senator Tillis for being weak and labeled him “Timid Tillis” because he’s too afraid to face them, while a new report found that Senator Tillis’ spinelessness has caused him to “lose credibility with North Carolina Republicans.”

Senator Tillis has achieved the rare goal of infuriating his base and the moderates he needs to win while taking positions on major issues like the emergency declaration and health care that are wrong for North Carolina. But don’t take my word for it. Here’s what Republicans are saying about their own senator:

  • “Do I think he will have a primary? I do … I think he will have a legitimate primary opponent” – Rep. Mark Meadows [Washington Post, 4/30/19]
  • “North Carolina Republican primary voters have made their voices clear. They stand with the President. Our senators should as well.” – Rep. Mark Walker [The Hill, 3/13/19]
  • “We’re not happy with the way Senator Tillis seems not to support the president. We’re looking to see who is coming to primary him.” – Diane Parnell, chairwoman of the Rockingham County Republican Party [News & Observer, 3/5/19]
  • “Thom Tillis won’t be a senator after 2020. He’ll either be beat in the primary or the general election.” – North Carolina GOP operative [The Hill, 3/13/19]
  • “Due to his repeated opposition to President Trump, Tillis is in danger of becoming a dead man walking.” – David McIntosh, the president of the conservative outside group Club for Growth [The Hill, 3/13/19]
  • “I do not have a lot of confidence in Senator Tillis based on his decision not to stand with the president.” – Rockingham County Sheriff Sam Page [News & Observer, 3/5/19]
  • “It looks like you’re putting yourself in opposition to the president” – Jim Womack, chairman of the Lee County Republican Party and a candidate for chairman of the state GOP. [News & Observer, 3/5/19]
  • “I don’t think a primary challenge goes away. I think that he’s going to have a primary.” – Former Union County GOP chair Dan Barry [WCNC, 3/24/19]
  • The Rockingham County GOP sent a letter of “no confidence” to Tillis two years ago, warning: “It appears you’re supporting Obama’s [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals] and another phony immigration compromise, and we are appalled.” [The Hill, 3/13/19]
  • “Senator Tillis’ amnesty position on illegal aliens will make many conservative voters in North Carolina shun his candidacy in any future election, rendering him unelectable.” – Craven County GOP [Press Release, 12/5/17]
  • “One conservative operative in the state said Tillis has a trust problem, with moderates questioning his independence from the president and conservatives questioning his loyalty.” [Morning Consult, 4/25/19]
  • “Tillis voting against disapproval after publishing an op-Ed on the subject is a weasel action the likes of which we’ve rarely seen” – John Podhoretz, conservative columnist [Twitter, 4/14/19]
  • “Beware the fury of Trump” – Dan Eberhart, a Republican donor [Politico, 3/14/19]