September 23, 2019/Press

Third Editorial Board Blasts Tillis, Says He “Did Not Stand Up to Trump For State’s Military Funding”

Raleigh – The Fayetteville Observer, home paper of Fort Bragg, added their voice to the growing number of scathing editorials aimed at Senator Tillis, saying he did “not stand up to Trump for state’s military funding” and instead “meekly acquiesced in the money grab” and “will at some point have to decide for himself whether Trump’s support was worth what he paid.”

Tillis’ spineless decision continues to dog his reelection campaign and drive his increasingly nasty primary challenge. “Only two people of the more than two dozen who talked to VICE News at the rally said they planned to vote for Tillis in his primary,” according to a new report. The Trump supporters had strong words for Tillis: “Don’t like him;” “I won’t be voting for him … He’s a fair-weather friend;” “He’s wishy washy … It’s whatever is good for him.”

Papers around the state have been savaging Senator Tillis for his spineless flip flop, calling it “the source of one of the senator’s weakest moments” and laying blame with him for delivering an “$80 million punch to the gut” to our military bases and “robbing peter to pay for a wall.” One thing continues to be clear: “voters of all ideological stripes simply don’t trust Tillis.”

Fayetteville Observer: Our View: Tillis did not stand up to Trump for state’s military funding
By the Editorial Board
September 21, 2019

Key Points:

  • U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis received a rude reminder the Republican Party now belongs to Donald Trump at a rally for Trump held on Sept. 9 in Fayetteville.
  • The first-term Republican senator and former state legislator was met with a chorus of boos that easily equaled the applause when he appeared on the undercard for Trump.
  • It was a sharp reminder that to many of the Trump faithful, Tillis is perceived as “sometime-y” in his support for a commander-in-chief who much prefers absolute loyalty.
  • Tillis faces a difficult re-election campaign in 2020, which includes a Republican primary challenge from wealthy businessman and author Garland Tucker III.
  • We would not expect Tillis to be at any other place than the Trump rally at that hour.
  • He needs Trump. And the president still has influence.
  • So, Tillis had to pay respect to Trump. Our problem, however, is what else he felt he needed to pay for the president’s support.
  • The Trump Administration is grabbing money from the U.S. military budget, including funds designated for Fort Bragg, to help pay for the wall along the Southern border with Mexico. Tillis meekly acquiesced in the money grab.
  • But the reality is different. What wall that is being built, or in many cases replaced, is being paid for by U.S. taxpayers not Mexico.
  • The hit to our state’s military installations is $80 million, based on a list of cuts submitted earlier this month by the Pentagon. In total, our fighting men and women, and their families and communities, will sacrifice as much as $3.6 billion for Trump’s wall. Thirty-four installations in the continental U.S. will be affected, as well as bases in U.S. territories.
  • But Fort Bragg has ongoing and chronic funding needs and could have found use for those funds, especially after enduring, along with the rest of the armed forces, years of tight budgets.
  • Even Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell, the majority leader who is usually in lockstep with Trump’s desires, vowed to fight for a middle school at Fort Campbell that is on the chopping block.
  • Tillis should defend our state’s military funding with at least the same vigor. Our soldiers, families and military communities deserve that much, and more.
  • Whatever the outcome in the 2020 race, Tillis will at some point have to decide for himself whether Trump’s support was worth what he paid.

VICE News: Another Republican Senator Who Snubbed Trump Could Be in Trouble
By Cameron Joseph
September 20, 2019

Key Points:

  • Only two people of the more than two dozen who talked to VICE News at the rally said they planned to vote for Tillis in his primary.
  • “Don’t like him,” said Heather Lipchak, of Yanceyville, who said she’d oppose Tillis in the primary and would likely skip the Senate election if he’s the general-election nominee. “Thom Tillis has not upheld his position, which is to support my president.”
  • “I won’t be voting for him,” said Jason Ferree, a project manager from Archdale. “He flip-flopped on a number of issues at the last second to save his own butt to keep from getting voted out. He switched his opinions, he doesn’t support Trump. He’s a fair-weather friend.”
  • “He’s wishy-washy,” said Sarah Thompson, a former nurse who’s undecided in the primary. “It’s whatever is good for him.”