WASHINGTON, D.C. – It’s good to have friends in, well, low and swampy places. Two establishment groups are coming out to protect their incumbent Senator Thom Tillis as he faces a threat in the form of primary challenger Garland Tucker. The coordinated attacks are a tell that the good ol’ boy network in leadership must be concerned for Tillis.
From the Washington Examiner:
“Republican leaders in the Senate are aggressively defending Sen. Thom Tillis, with plans to carpet bomb primary challenger Garland Tucker across the North Carolina airwaves if he jeopardizes the incumbent’s 2020 reelection.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee, leadership’s campaign arm, and Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC affiliated with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., moved quickly to weaken Tucker upon his campaign launch. Operatives for the two groups are dishing dirt on the wealthy businessman’s past to political reporters in North Carolina and Washington, highlighting his previously expressed, though since discarded, opposition to President Trump — revelations often deadly in GOP primaries.
If the tactic fails, Senate Leadership Fund is prepared to ratchet up the attacks with a heavy dose of advertising on television and other platforms. The super PAC would model the spots after those it deployed successfully two years ago against Rep. Mo Brooks. He threatened leadership’s candidate in the race for the Republican nomination in an Alabama special election until ads popped spotlighting his since-disavowed criticism of Trump. [… ]”
The Tillis Swamp Guards’ main line of attack is that Tucker publicly expressed conerns about Trump during the 2016 primary and supported other primary candidates like Sens. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. However, conveniently leave out that Tillis, too, supported non-Trump candidates in that 2016 primary.
The Washington Examiner that the the Tucker campaign referred to the NRSC and Senate Leadership Fund as “Washington DC swamp groups.” The campaign’s chairman, Francis De Luca, suggested that Tillis’ allies were willfully misrepresenting Tucker’s past statements about Trump merely to stave off a legitimate threat to his cushy, swampy position in the senate.
If this line of attack doesn’t work, and polling indicates Tucker is creeping up on Tillis, the Swamp Guards are planning a media blitz to further damage tar and feather the former to benefit the ladder. It will be quite noticeable how few good things they can say about Tillis to resonate with the Republican primary voters.
As such, with Tillis’ unenviable reputation among grassroots Republicans in North Carolina, it will require a lot more mud slinging by the Swamp to keep a legitimate challenger at bay, so grab a towel as this race progresses and the pressure builds on Tillis.
Read more from the Washington Examiner here.