September 4, 2019/Press

QUICK CLIP: Tillis & Trump “Inject Politics” into Disaster Relief as Hurricane Dorian Heads towards NC Coast

Raleigh – Senator Tillis and President Trump “appeared to inject politics” into North Carolina’s preparation for Hurricane Dorian, “mixing hurricane response with campaign politics” and introducing “partisan election-season politics into the hurricane-preparation process” by engaging in self-serving political games as Hurricane Dorian barrels towards to the North Carolina coast.

Senator Tillis, who is facing a GOP primary challenge, shamelessly tried to take credit for the state’s emergency declaration. One problem – “under federal law, requests by states for disaster declarations are made by governors.” Senator Tillis continues to show just how low he will go to as he faces an increasingly serious threat from his Republican primary challenger.

Washington Post: Trump said he granted a disaster declaration at the request of North Carolina’s Republican senator. It came from the state’s Democratic governor.
By John Wagner
September 4, 2019

Key Points:

  • Under federal law, requests by states for disaster declarations are made by governors.
  • With Hurricane Dorian heading in the direction of North Carolina, President Trump appeared to inject politics into the process on Tuesday night.
  • Tillis is a fellow Republican up for reelection next year and faces a GOP primary challenge.
  • North Carolina’s governor, Roy Cooper, is a Democrat. His office requested the federal disaster declaration Monday after issuing a state emergency declaration Friday.
  • Trump’s tweet Tuesday night came a few minutes after Tillis tweeted that he “just spoke” with Trump about the federal declaration.
  • “Thank you Mr. President for your commitment to North Carolinians,” Tillis wrote.
  • He later thanked Trump for his tweet.
  • Under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, “all requests for a declaration by the President that a major disaster exists shall be made by the Governor of the affected State.”

MSNBC: Trump connects NC emergency declaration, vulnerable GOP senator
By Steve Benen
September 4, 2019

Key Points:

  • In other words, North Carolina’s Democratic governor formally made the request on Monday, and North Carolina’s Republican senator encouraged the president to grant the request on Tuesday. Trump wants the public to credit the senator for the president’s willingness to sign an emergency declaration he was going to have to sign anyway.
  • Why? Because Thom Tillis is up for re-election next year, and his success is hardly assured.
  • As a deadly storm approaches, the president decided it would be a good time to introduce some partisan election-season politics into the hurricane-preparation process.
  • It’s worth noting for context that earlier this year, Thom Tillis wrote a compelling op-ed condemning Trump’s gambit to redirect federal funds to border barriers in defiance of Congress’ wishes. The GOP senator said he agreed with the president’s underlying policy goals on border security, but his conscience required him to put principle over party.
  • Two weeks later, Tillis abandoned his principles and endorsed Trump’s legally dubious scheme, ignoring everything the senator had just said in writing.
  • This, in the president’s mind, is what “stepping up to the plate” looks like, and Trump has been willing to support Tillis ever since – including, last night, crediting him with an emergency declaration he had very little to do with.