Rove-affiliated American Crossroads airs ads for Tillis

Posted April 1, 2014

A still from the American Crossroads commercial backing Thom Tillis in the 2014 U.S. Senate primary.

— American Crossroads, the Super PAC affiliated with Republican strategist Karl Rove, has begun airing $1.1 million worth of ads across North Carolina on behalf of Thom Tillis' U.S. Senate campaign.

Tillis, the state House speaker, is leading all recent polls of the eight-way North Carolina Republican U.S. Senate primary. His closest competitors are Dr. Greg Brannon of Cary, Wilkesboro nurse Heather Grant and Rev. Mark Harris of Charlotte. The winner will take on Sen. Kay Hagan, a first-term Democratic incumbent, in the general election. 

"It's clear to us that Thom Tillis has the experience, conservative principles and passion to clean up the mess that President Obama and Sen. Hagan are making in Washington," American Crossroads President Steven Law said. "Speaker Tillis has been an architect of conservative change in North Carolina, and he’ll be a leader for North Carolina values in the U.S. Senate."

Tillis' time in elected office and his support from well-known GOP figures like Rove have earned him the "establishment candidate" label, a double-edged moniker that connotes a stable, known quantity for many voters but a too-cozy-with-power attitude for some in the tea party wing of the party. 

"We will show a clear contrast between our opponent, who is backed by establishment insiders like Karl Rove, and a servant citizen backed by grassroots conservatives, who will actually fight for our party's conservative values in the U.S. Senate," Reilly O'Neal, Brannon's campaign manager, said in January when asked about a fundraising email that labeled Tillis an "establishment-backed insider." 

The Crossroads commercial is a 30-second spot airing in Charlotte and Raleigh, the state's two most expensive markets. It spends its first 10 seconds slamming Hagan and tying her to President Barack Obama. In particular, it repeats the mantra that Democrats lied about individuals being able to keep their health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. 

It then goes on to laud Tillis as "true to our values" and tick off some highlights of this time in the General Assembly, including: 

  • "As Speaker, eliminated a $2.5 billion deficit." This line refers to the 2011 budget, which did in fact face a $2.5 billion gap when Republicans took control of the General Assembly that year. It is worth noting that the state constitution requires lawmakers to pass a balanced budget and that the spending plan drafted by Republicans wasn't universally popular – then-Gov. Bev Perdue vetoed the measure. 
  • "...and cut taxes." This refers to a 2013 tax reform measure that lowered income tax and some other tax rates. Not everyone ended up paying less under the measure. For example, sales taxes on items like movie tickets went up, and various tax measures allowed the state's earned income tax credit to expire, meaning that many low-income earners will not see as big of a refund this year. 
  • "The conservative guts to replace Obamacare with honest health care reforms." This statement is aimed at blunting on of the primary attacks Tillis' conservative critics have used against him. During a recent appearance on the Bill Lumaye radio show, Tillis described the Affordable Care Act as "a great idea that can't be paid for." This prompted many conservatives to pounce. "When the government mandates citizens to purchase any private good or product, it is always wrong. Period," said {{a href="external_link-13529373"}}Russ Walker, national political director for FreedomWorks, a group backing Brannon. "Greg Brannon is a real leader who will fight Obamacare consistently at every turn, because he understands that it’s not just about the money – Obamacare is a threat to the individual rights of American citizens."

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  • WRAL_USER Apr 3, 2014

    Finally, Rove has spent money on Tillis. That is a relief, since Rove chose to spend big bucks on (mostly) losers last go around... I agree Karl, Tillis has no shot...

  • Rebelyell55 Apr 3, 2014

    Since both parties seem to be determine to do more harm than good, it's a matter of which one would do the most harm. Even today, Corp. America is waking up to how it's business model of years pass is hurting their profit and substainibility. They are changing and trying to bring jobs back so people will have the money to buy their products and services. That is the good news. But on the other hand you have elected officals who are mis-guilded and giving help to Corp. America, that they don't want or need. This is done at a great cost to the tax payers, increase taxes, "fees", that are still a form of taxes. Only the banking indrustry and energy indrustry are the only ones that don't have to change since they'll make money no matter what. Many use the cost of social welfare as the cause of our debt, while other know that this cost goes directly into the economy. The cost of Corp Welfare is much higher and does not go back into economy and some even goes overseas.

  • veryfrustrated1 Apr 2, 2014

    I am not a fan of Tillis, but I have to ask, when will wral post articles about the anti-Tillis ads funded by outside sources?!!!! The left leaning bias is too obvious!

  • gotnoid Apr 2, 2014

    So Hagan is only funded by local folks-Is that right?

  • wynnediii Apr 2, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Using "u" as a word....pot calling kettle...

  • Sally Bethune Apr 2, 2014
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    Well said! I love the way some of these posts talk about "uninformed voters". It is Karl Rove who sewed the seeds that turned southerners in to republicans, it was him that made you fearful people who think people poorer than you are trying to your money, your liberty, your rights. The sad thing is many southerners sopped it like grandmas home made biscuit and honey (which I have fond memories of too). But if you think Rove, Tillis, Pope, give two single malts bout the middle class and poor in North Carolina or anywhere in this country it saddens me to inform you that you are their southern strategy and it has worked. If you make 100,000.00 a year or 25,000.00 a year Tillis and his boys in the GA have screwed you in favor of the very wealthy in this state the, the very people who needed the tax least cut got it. Their children go to private schools

  • Eric Hammond Apr 2, 2014
    user avatar

    ... come out of the closet and advocate it. Period. With laser like focus even. cringercat1862

    so if the ACA and Obama are "socialists" what would you call Dwight D. Eisenhower and the tax rates on the wealthy during HIS administration? Communism? c'mon, I DARE you to give a coherent logical and factual answer!

  • Taffy Apr 2, 2014

    I'm so glad to see that "buy that election" is stilll alive & well in North Carolina. Out of state funded adds should be banned from all elections!

  • Just Ice Apr 2, 2014

    Thanks for removing my post. I must have hit a nerve. So censorship is alive and well there at WRAL. I guess you're going full-in with the state-run media. What's next...book burning? You can hide the truth but it will be there for those who seek it. No attacks from Binkie, WRAL, or the Senate Majority PAC will change the outcome of the 2014 elections. It's about Obamacare; not Karl Rove or the Koch brothers. Most of your low information voters don't even know who they are. Go ahead. Ask them to name 1 of their 2 US senators. And let me reiterate. The Senate Majority PAC has spent $1,408,652 on commercials supporting Kay Hagan. The top donor of the Senate Majority PAC is the City of New York with $2,500,000 in donations. Why is Bill de Blasio (D - Working Families) and his comrades from New York trying to influence North Carolina elections? Do you think it might have something to do with "right to work" versus unions?

  • goldenosprey Apr 2, 2014

    I'm "not exactly" sure what you mean. Do we tell the sick who could not get insurance to die? Alone? In the rain because otherwise this collective "we" will pay for it? Who do you think pays for it now or before the ACA? I understand you believe you should have a choice in what you purchase for insurance. But if you had a similar choice in say, seatbelts, some would chose flimsy lap belts because they are cheap and less restrictive. Leaving the rest of us to cover the resulting head and chest injuries in the event of a crash. Many of us avoid car wrecks. Few avoid health care costs.