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The PJ Tatler

by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

May 7, 2014 - 6:48 am

The GOP establishment favorites easily won in Tuesday night primaries, with Thom Tillis, the State House speaker, clearing the 40 percent threshold needed to challenge Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) in November.

Tillis was challenged in the primary by Greg Brannon, a Tea Party candidate who boasted the backing of Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and got 27 percent of the vote, and Mark Harris, a Baptist preacher endorsed by Mike Huckabee who pulled in 17 percent of the vote.

Tillis’ endorsements included Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush.

“We congratulate Thom Tillis on his victory tonight. It was clear from the start that Thom Tillis is the only proven conservative who can defeat Kay Hagan and take on President Obama’s liberal agenda, and tonight’s victory is the first step toward making that happen,” American Crossroads CEO Steven Law said in a statement.

“We engaged early and worked closely with other center-right groups to help Tillis overcome a late dirty-tricks campaign orchestrated by Hagan and national Democrats. We expect Hagan’s tactics will get even more desperate, but we intend to hold her accountable for the mess.”

Paul said in a statement through his PAC that it was now time for GOPs to unite.

“Congratulations to Thom Tillis. Now that the primary is over, it is time for our side to unite to defeat the Democrat who cast the deciding vote for ObamaCare, Kay Hagan, in November,” Paul said. “I endorse Thom Tillis and look forward to working with him in the Senate. I congratulate my friend Greg Brannon on a well fought race and encourage all the candidates to unite for victory in November.”

Former American Idol star Clay Aiken narrowly led in the Democratic primary for the District 2 House seat in North Carolina, where incumbent Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.) defeated Tea Party challenger Frank Roche with more than 58 percent of the vote.

Establishment fave and North Carolina former state Sen. David Rouzer won the GOP nomination to run for retiring Democratic Rep. Mike McIntyre’s seat, pulling in 52 percent of the vote versus Woody White. Both White and Roche made illegal immigration a centerpiece of their Tea Party challenges.

In Ohio, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) easily defeated Tea Party challenger J.D. Winteregg 68 percent to 21 percent. Winteregg, who released a campaign ad comparing Boehner to erectile dysfunction, said in a statement that he nevertheless gave Boehner a “run for his money.”

“I’ve knocked on 20,000 doors over the past year and have had the privilege to talk to more than 10,000 voters,” said the schoolteacher. “It’s stunning how many Ohioans are frustrated with our leaders in D.C. After talking with so many passionate Ohioans on this campaign, I feel tonight is not the end but just the beginning of taking back our country.”

 

Bridget Johnson is a career journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.
Top Rated Comments   
So tell me how we win by giving up, and legalizing 11 million future dems, then opening the border to even more.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
What all this establishment versus Tea Party storyline hides is the fact that even losing Tea Party candidates force establishment candidates toward a liberty minded agenda. Win or lose, the challenges make the GOP more of an individualist freedom and less of a corporatist technocratic party.

This is literally a win-win situation. The only way there is a loss is if a RINO or unelectable fringe candidate gets selected. I think the GOP learned those lessons last cycle.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Paul said in a statement through his PAC that it was now time for GOPs to unite.

“Congratulations to Thom Tillis. Now that the primary is over, it is time for our side to unite to defeat the Democrat who cast the deciding vote for ObamaCare, Kay Hagan, in November,” Paul said. “I endorse Thom Tillis and look forward to working with him in the Senate. I congratulate my friend Greg Brannon on a well fought race and encourage all the candidates to unite for victory in November.”"
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Too bad the GOP elite are no where near as gracious as Paul in recognizing the need to move on as a party and come together for the good of each side when a Tea Party candidate gets the nod from voters. The GOP elite (Rove et al) were instrumental in 'helping' candidates such as Christine O'Donnell and Sharron Angle lose to more 'palatable' democrats.

I'm still disgusted with the GOP elite and their antics of 2010 and 2012. I WILL NOT VOTE FOR A RINO. At least until someone can reasonably point out the real differences between them and the 'common' democrat. Crooks all IMO. Maybe that will happen when the democrats move further to the left and some distinguishing traits begin to show up - provided the RINO's do not also side-step to the left in response.

12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (19)
All Comments   (19)
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I am not a Republican anymore, so my loyalty to a Republican victory in any given race just because ....Republican is just not there. I acknowledge that pretty much every Democrat is an enemy of the country and Constitution, but that description is not restricted to Democrats. In the case of "Vichy John" Boehner, the purportedly Republican Speaker of the House, his defeat would be a signal victory for both country and Constitution. And it is not as if the Democrats are going to gain in numbers in the House in this cycle if there is an real election. So I recommend that conservatives, in this race contribute to Boehner's Democrat opponent, and if in Boehner's district vote for the Democrat. Assuming that electoral politics is something that continues in this country, that is the easiest way to make the Institutional Republicans realize that there is a cost for being at war with their base.

Subotai Bahadur
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
Welcome to the new oligarchy, America! If you can't get rid of a castrato like Boehner, then you might as well kiss your great republic goodbye! In any other Western democracy, folks like Boehner and McConnell would have been thrown out the door rear end first. But not here in America. The voters are too busy with pot, porn and prime time TV. Primaries are very important, but the fool voter just sits by and does nothing. But don't worry. After they pass Amnesty (oh it will pass, whether you like it or not) that illegal you drive by every day standing on the street corner looking for work, will now run for mayor or some government office, and will be representing YOU!. Then he or she will be found to be embezzeing money to send to their families abroad. So get used to it America! You can blame the politicians all you want, but a large majority can be blamed on "WE the People."
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
What all this establishment versus Tea Party storyline hides is the fact that even losing Tea Party candidates force establishment candidates toward a liberty minded agenda. Win or lose, the challenges make the GOP more of an individualist freedom and less of a corporatist technocratic party.

This is literally a win-win situation. The only way there is a loss is if a RINO or unelectable fringe candidate gets selected. I think the GOP learned those lessons last cycle.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
The so-called "tea party" agenda or ideology is nothing new, it's just a rebranding of old fashioned far right or strong conservative ideology. The problem with the tea party candidates is that they're mostly terrible political candidates, who say and do stupid things. As a result, the terrible candidates lose general elections where the tea party ideology is clearly a small minority of the voting public.

There are many strong conservatives now serving in various elected positions who are very intelligent, reasonable people who are in fact good candidates. Good examples would include folks like Thom Tillis - the subject of this post - as well as Trey Gowdy of SC and Tom Cotton of AR. Rank and file Republican voters don't have a problem with tea party ideology per se ... we DO have a big problem with unelectable rubes who get by only because they're selected by certain self-styled DC beltway bandit groups with "tea party" in their names, and who routinely fleece the far right wing of their hard earned money only to spend it virtually all on themselves (as was revealed in media reports last week ... the major "Tea Party" groups spend as little as 10% of what they raise on actual candidate and campaign contributions, the rest going to paying internal "consulting fees", "polling fees" and other various "internal expenses". Any non-profit with a 60-90% expense ratio would have to be considered a scam, not a real non-profit.)

Thom Tillis is a winner ... his TP opponent was a flake, another Todd Akin in the making. Sorry, we're through with bad TP candidates.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
As a matter of fact Tea Party supported candidates are doing quite well. Some have been ever so close to being elected. This sounds like a successful campaign. From nothing, to getting right up there near the top. Way to go Tea Party. Washington DC, We The Elite People of Culture of Corruption in every nook and cranny of Washington DC's woodwork, came out with massive amounts of cash, Ads et al for pro-crony capitalist GOP/RNC fielded candidates. Tea Party got near the top WITHOUT ANY OF THIS LARGESSE!!!! Folks. Reflect upon this fact. Proof positive, "Big Business," crony capitalist's like their cozy, corrupt relationships developed over the past 45 years or so in both houses (Congress and Senate) and Executive branch. Just look where We are today...69% of Americans on some form of government assistance program. Over 92 million Americans unemployed or underemployed. An anemic 0.1% GDP growth the first quarter 2014. Not enough to pay the interest on USA's outstanding debt.
We The People will increase our numbers in both bodies of this corrupt lawmaking cesspool, thereby effectively blocking anymore phony "Farm Bills" and really goofy "Immigration Reform Bills (that omit any mention of Border Security)!!!!"
We Tea Partiers are definitely making a difference...GOP/RNC, Reince Priebus and Michael Steele, TAKE NOTICE. A sea change is underway. Get on board or get tossed off the "Freedom Loving" boat. Go Away Jeb Bush's and Chris Christies. Pray. Amen. God Bless America. Join a Tea Party, urgently. Let's Stand Up For Our Children and Grand Children. Also, support a local Article V convention now getting underway. Dr. Ben Carson is definitely picking up steam.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
Are you Baghdad Bob's little brother? You write like he talked.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
--Tillis was challenged in the primary by Greg Brannon, a Tea Party candidate who boasted the backing of Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and got 27 percent of the vote, and Mark Harris, a Baptist preacher endorsed by Mike Huckabee who pulled in 17 percent of the vote.--

An establishment candidate getting 40 percent is not something the establishment should be doing backflips about. Hopefully, though Harris and Bannon get behind him to beat Hagan.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
What am I missing here? Why are we talking about the state house speaker in NC, when the primary for NC 02 congressional district has a far greater impact on national politics? In that race, the establishment won too, and given the Boehner victory in OH, the gop is now officially hell-bent on national (and political) suicide with amnesty and open borders.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
Although Tillis is the current state house speaker in NC, the primary race he was involved in was for the US Senate seat. Kay Hagan's seat in the Senate is one of the seats the GOP needs to take control of the Senate so this race is much more important to national politics than the NC 02 congressional race.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
Gotcha. Thanks for the clarification.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
Was Tillis really “establishment”? I know he had the backing of the so-called “establishment” (I really hate these labels because they are vague and thrown around too recklessly), but I understand he’s pretty conservative.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
Tillis is effective. Although some will argue he's not conservative enough, it's hard to argue with someone who was a key player in the Republican takeover of the NC legislature for the first time in decades. It doesn't matter how conservative your candidate is if they're not in office to do anything.

Tillis also made it clear his number one priority was cleaning up the mess the Democrats had created so we could turn around the NC economy. Balancing the budget and reforming state government were his primary goals. If legislators wanted other issues tackled they had to prove to him they had the support, he wasn't going to fight their battles for them. Some took this as proof he wasn't conservative enough, but I think it shows he was realistic about what could be accomplished. Quite a few other measures did get passed because the people who wanted them worked hard enough.

There's no doubt his management style ruffled some feathers and is not something that would work in the long run, but for the short term it was necessary to turn things around in the state. Major reforms were made quickly that are already having an impact in people's lives, so the "Progressives" are starting to obviously look like the lunatics they are when they complain about what was done. Those reforms would not have happened if Tillis had not kept everyone focused on the key issues.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
That's about the way I looked at it when I voted for Tillis. He's an effective politician and nowhere near to being a Rockefeller Republican. This search for perfection rather than for electable candidates is counterproductive.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
OK - thanks...I'm not a NC native and had heard that there was a Tea Party vs. Establishment match-up, but there didn’t seem to be any real impetus behind the Tea Party guy…suggesting the establishment guy wasn’t really a RINO or even a moderate.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Paul said in a statement through his PAC that it was now time for GOPs to unite.

“Congratulations to Thom Tillis. Now that the primary is over, it is time for our side to unite to defeat the Democrat who cast the deciding vote for ObamaCare, Kay Hagan, in November,” Paul said. “I endorse Thom Tillis and look forward to working with him in the Senate. I congratulate my friend Greg Brannon on a well fought race and encourage all the candidates to unite for victory in November.”"
===============================

Too bad the GOP elite are no where near as gracious as Paul in recognizing the need to move on as a party and come together for the good of each side when a Tea Party candidate gets the nod from voters. The GOP elite (Rove et al) were instrumental in 'helping' candidates such as Christine O'Donnell and Sharron Angle lose to more 'palatable' democrats.

I'm still disgusted with the GOP elite and their antics of 2010 and 2012. I WILL NOT VOTE FOR A RINO. At least until someone can reasonably point out the real differences between them and the 'common' democrat. Crooks all IMO. Maybe that will happen when the democrats move further to the left and some distinguishing traits begin to show up - provided the RINO's do not also side-step to the left in response.

12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
Tillis *was* the "establishment" candidate. That's why Hagen actually spent campaign $ against him in a primary, which is pretty damn unusual.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
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