#NCSEN: Harris campaign challenging narrative of Tillis inevitability

harrispointThere’s been quite a bit of suspicion for some time that Charlotte pastor Mark Harris’ Senate campaign was merely a stalking horse to peel Tea Party votes away from  Greg Brannon.  Harris labels himself a conservative — like Thom Tillis does.  But he’s named former congressman, NCGOP chairman and Ripon Society fanboy Robin Hayes as his campaign chairman.  Hayes’ longtime political strategist, Tom Perdue, has also come aboard the Harris effort.

Observers have been quick to note how — in forums and other public events — Harris and his supporters are quick to criticize Tea party favorite Brannon, but are silent on Thom Tillis, the favorite of Establishment, left-of-center Republicans.  In some forums, Harris has spoken in defense of Tillis on toll roads and other aspects of the General Assembly’s agendaXGR02-NE-072413-RTW

But things appear to be changing on that front.  I’ve seen polling from pros — with campaigns and unaffiliated — suggesting that Harris appears to be getting a good chunk of votes in Tillis’ Charlotte-area home base.  Perdue, the Harris strategist, has upped the ante a little bit with some crowing to Roll Call, the DC-based “newspaper of Capitol Hill”:

[…] “Our goal, our job, is to get in the runoff,” said Republican consultant Tom Perdue, who is working for Mark Harris, a Mike Huckabee-endorsed, conservative Baptist pastor. “When we say we think we can win, that’s all we’re saying, is we think we can get into the runoff.”

Perdue, a Georgia-based consultant who was once retiring Sen. Saxby Chambliss’ top political operative, said he joined the Harris campaign because he believed there was a window for a true conservative against the “slick,” “establishment” Tillis.

“There is no hands-down front-runner,” Perdue said. “If he were going to have been the hands-down winner, he would have had most of the House members supporting him by now … if he were really going to be the hands-down winner, he would have raised a lot more money last year. And if he were going to be the front-runner, you wouldn’t see six or seven people jumping into this race.” […]

21 comments for “#NCSEN: Harris campaign challenging narrative of Tillis inevitability

  1. Cathy Johnson
    February 24, 2014 at 9:25 pm

    In some forums, Harris has spoken in defense of Tillis on toll roads and other aspects of the General Assembly’s agenda.

    Sounds like another future Richard Burr. All I needed to know. Sorry preacher good try though. Go back to the pulpit, you can do better there.

    Thank you for the update DailyHaymaker. I was a little confused as to who I was going to vote for between Brannon and Harris but with all the “Thom Fhool-ery” going on in the party like this, Now I know I will be voting for Brannon. Very helpful. Thanks.

    • Toxhandler
      February 25, 2014 at 12:12 am

      He lost me when I found out he’s out of Charlotte. Never trust anyone out of that town. 😉

  2. Faithwalk
    February 25, 2014 at 12:33 am

    Why would a conservative enter a race that already had a strong conservative, Dr. Greg Brannon MD in it? He was one of the key speakers at the GOP convention. Toll road Tillis we all know is not conservative. The NCSBE website shows that the army nurse Heather Grant from Wilkesboro has not voted since the 2012 election and has never held an office, says she did not know who was running when she decided to run. She knows now. I don’t know how anyone can take her seriously or the others in this race.

    • Faithwalk
      February 25, 2014 at 12:57 am

      OK upon closer examination, it looks like Grant was not a resident of the state prior to that election and there were no other local elections held except for city residents.

      • Faithwalk
        February 25, 2014 at 12:58 am

        So Grant has voted in one NC election and she is ready to run for Senate. Hmm another Hillary Clinton?

  3. Unaffiliated Voter
    February 25, 2014 at 12:56 am

    Huckabeen endorsement is a killer…Huckabeen is entertaining when he takes two sides of an issues depending on the crowd he’s trying to please…

    BRANNON is STILL the ONLY Choice!

    • Raphael
      February 25, 2014 at 1:35 am

      Huckabee has a very long history of endorsing establishment Republicans over conservatives in US Senate primaries. He even does that often when there is a social conservative running. For example, he recently endorsed establishment squish Lindsay Graham in South Carolina over a field of conservatives including a strong religious conservative. Huckabee’s own record as governor was not conservative except on some social issues. The Club for Growth called him a ”Christian socialist” and RedState.com called him a ”pro-life statist”.

  4. Tommy
    February 25, 2014 at 5:35 am

    As far as Harris goes, he should stay in the pulpit and preach The Word of God…assuming he’s not a watered down gospel preacher. He is needed there most.

  5. RJ Matthews
    February 25, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    I don’t trust these religious frauds. Did he get into the race after Brannon? If so, he was probably coached by the Tillis machine.

  6. jweaks
    February 25, 2014 at 3:48 pm

    WOW. Harris may or may not be a good candidate. I’m still undecided and holding on to some hope for Brannon. But… Harris’s treatment here is wrong and comical.

    • Raphael
      February 25, 2014 at 6:48 pm

      The big red flags with Harris are Robin Hayes and The Huckster, but I would readily acknowledge that he is light years better than Tilli$.

      I had a friend tell me that a new candidate, former Shelby mayor Ted Alexander is worth taking a look at, as well.

      • jweaks
        February 26, 2014 at 2:45 pm

        I acknowledge and agree with those red flags. There is a “strange bedfellows” aspect to Harris’ campaign. So caution is advised.

        The point is we can’t destroy every candidate other than our “guy/gal.” How many candidates can simultaneously be the “establishment” or the “stalking horse” or the RINO or the “fraud” or be guilty by association? Conspiracy theories abound. With friends like these it’s a wonder we can’t get good people to run. Who wants to set themselves up for destruction?

        I don’t know Ted Alexander but watch him get shredded too… why is he getting in now? We already have our guy, he should stay out, he must be working against us, etc…

        Let him run. Give him the benefit of the doubt. We need vigorous, hard fought primaries with no one torn to shreds before they even get out of the starting gate.

  7. Eric Dailey
    February 26, 2014 at 5:11 am

    Harris is a spoiler in the race to take votes from Brannon. He is a shill for the establishment GOP created by Robin Hayes. If Harris does not understand this he is a fool. If Harris does understand this he is corrupt. He has no chance to beat Tillis or Hagen but he will get plenty of return for running (ruining) in the primary.

    I expect the primary will produce a run off election in June between Brannon and Tillis. This is advantage to Brannon because TIllis voters won’t bother to vote in June. Brannon victory. Brannon will beat Hagan. Tillis will hang out a shingle as a lobbyist and take the abuse he has been giving out and rake in in while he does it.

  8. Hopewell
    February 26, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    Can you provide a source for your assertion that Harris defends Tillis on toll roads? I heard him speak at a candidate forum and he said he was against them. I’m undecided on who to vote for.

  9. bobby poon
    February 26, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    Harris was put up to divide the Tea Party.Paul Schumaker and Karl Rove saw to that.Both are establishment consultants.Brannon is by far the best candidate but his team is weak and will be his downfall.Easy pickins for Rove.The problem will be how will Tillis look on the main stage against Hagan when the s++t storm begins.What bodies will float to the surface because you know the race will not be about Obamacare but about Tillis background and character.

  10. NCCOT
    February 26, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    I’m wondering when someone is going to bring up the issue of Amnesty/Pathway To Citizenship. This is as big a deal as Obamacare and will finalize the total transformation of the America we knew.
    We all know where #ThollRoadThom stands, but a little digging may shine the light on where Harris really stands. My understanding is that he has strong ties with the Southern Baptist Convention who have a standing resolution to support a Pathway To a Citizenship AKA Amnesty. At a mtg I attended he said he did not support either. Hmmm Does he not support the SBC? He can’t have it both ways. Conservatives understand the policy games & double talk. Huckabee for the record also supports Amnesty. What say you Pastor?
    http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2011/06/20/southern-baptists-call-for-immigration-reform/

    • jweaks
      February 27, 2014 at 2:50 pm

      “…At a mtg I attended he said he did not support either. Hmmm Does he not support the SBC? He can’t have it both ways.”

      Just for clarity: Yes, he can. I am member of an SBC church and a strong supporter of the SBC. But the SBC does not bind me or the church I attend. I can disagree with the SBC on a particular issue and still be a supporter. Besides, the SBC is not calling for amnesty. The SBC resolution can be read here:

      http://www.sbc.net/resolutions/1213/on-immigration-and-the-gospel

      • Raphael
        February 27, 2014 at 3:29 pm

        Of yes, it does endorse amnesty, even though in its double talk it claims not to. ”A path to legal status” for illegal aliens IS amnesty. Period. End of sentence.

        Its language is also clearly drafted by amnesty supporters, as it attacks ”nativism”, a buzzword of the extreme left used against opponents of amnesty, while it uses the leftwing Orwellian ”mewspeak” buzzwords ”undocumented immigrants” for the illegal aliens. Illegal aliens are NOT ”undocumented”. They have documents, but those documents say that they belong somewhere other than squatting in the US. They are also not ”immigrants” as immigrants are people who apply for proper immigration status and are granted it. These invaders sneaked in by violating our laws.

        Oh, and I saw a recent poll that showed an overwheming majority of church members of fundamentalist and charasmatic churches oppose amnesty, although too often too many church leaders have been conned into supporting it.

        Anyone, whether it be the SBC or Tillis who says they support a ”pathway to citizenship / legal status” and then says they are ”against amnesty” is engaging in dishonest doubletalk.

        If we need immigrants, there are many, many well educated English speaking people applying every day to immigrate to the US who are turned down. but obey our laws and don’t just come anyway. This is where we should get our immigrants, not the largely non-English speaking, mostly school dropout, unskilled invaders who crash our borders in violation of our laws.

        • jweaks
          February 27, 2014 at 4:05 pm

          I disagree and frankly I don’t appreciate the “dishonest doubletalk” accusation, but that’s neither here nor there. The point is Harris can support the SBC and still not support amnesty. Even if one thinks that the SBC is calling for amnesty (I don’t), Harris is not required to be in lockstop with the SBC and neither am I.

          I do agree with some of your points, however. And I do think the SBC resolution could have been written differently/better.

          • Raphael
            February 27, 2014 at 4:36 pm

            Under our immigration laws, the violators, the illegal aliens are supposed to be taken into custody and deported. If you give them anything less than that it is amnesty. When one applies properly for immigrant status, previous immigration violations are black marks that usually mean non-acceptance, something that is true in most other countries as well. That is clear in the national GOP platform on the subject, for example, which denounces ”any form of amnesty”.

            The SBC resolution supports ”a path to legal status” which, very simply put, IS amnesty. It gives them something that they should not have. It gives them a preference over those who obey the law and remain in their home countries instead of thumbing their nose at the law and coming anyway. Why should lawbreakers be allowed to stay in the country when those who apply properly and obey the law (and are usually better qualified to come in the first place) are not allowed in at all? That is reprehensible and immoral, and makes a mockery of the rule of law.

  11. jweaks
    February 27, 2014 at 9:04 pm

    Raphael, for some reason it won’t allow me to reply to you, so I’m just posting this at the bottom.

    I really shouldn’t continue this, especially with someone who I am far more in agreement with than disagreement, but here goes…

    First, I’m going to concede a point. A forgiveness of penalties before prosecution is by definition a form of amnesty. Therefore any path to citizenship in that manner is a form of amnesty. I do not disagree. It is however not that simple. Amnesty in our law is a very board concept. There are different forms of amnesty. A blanket amnesty which amounts to a great big shoulder shrug and the complete forgiveness of an offense before it is prosecuted is rare and I would agree, in regards to illegal immigration, completely wrong. When one says they are against amnesty, this is a reasonable and fair interpretation of what they mean. It is certainly what I mean and what I believe the SBC means.

    A limited amnesty, which can have many qualifications, is different than a blanket amnesty. Our law and our history are full of instances of limited amnesty and/or forgiveness of some penalties. I can list some cases if you like. This type of forgiveness is not unusual or wrong in our system of law. One is free to object and believe that NO pre-prosecutorial forgiveness should ever be allowed, but it is well established and it does happen.

    The issue is really not “can a forgiveness be issued?” but rather “should a forgiveness be issued?” and if so, when and under what conditions?
    I’m totally fine with one having the opinion that no forgiveness for illegally entering the country should ever be allowed. It’s a good and strong argument. I respect that. I myself would most likely hold that position if I thought we could remove everyone that legally should not be here. I think we failed to do so when we had the chance and now are unable to do so even if the citizenry woke up and decided we should. We can however fix the “barn door” first and then figure out what to do with those that are here. This is essentially what the SBC calls for in their resolution. If we don’t fix the broken door first, all else is moot.

    If an illegal immigrant is prosecuted, then what follows, by definition, would not be amnesty. A path to citizenship could be legally allowed post-prosecution, if we wanted to implement that. It’s possible. We can disagree about whether we should or not, but it’s possible. And I realize that just because that is technically different it still amounts to nearly the same thing. Amnesty and Pardon are often mixed and confused. “Should we?” still remains the key issue.

    Is a path to citizenship a good idea under any circumstances? Honestly, I don’t know. I do know we cannot continue on our current course. I am open to a “no amnesty whatsoever” solution if there is such a viable and reasonable solution. As of now, I don’t know of one that will work.

    And, again, if we don’t fix the door, the amnesty issue is moot.

    That’s my final say. The floor is yours.

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