NC-02: Souped-up, well-prepped Clay Aiken takes to the airwaves in Moore

caMr. American Idol got a rather warm welcome this morning in conservative Moore County on  WEEB radio’s morning show. Steve Leader’s show is a must-visit destination for any politico seeking votes from bright-red Moore County.  Steve and news director Al Mangum put the Democrat nominee for the 2nd congressional district under the microscope.

“Actions taken or not taken in the line of duty are fair game for criticism,” Clay Aiken told the hosts. “I am not going to get into talking about someone’s personal life.  I don’t think anyone is all that interested in that kind of thing.”

The Democrat was critical of incumbent Republican Renee Ellmers’ lack of success in blocking the move of an airwing from Fort Bragg to Arkansas.

“She was late introducing the amendment to the defense bill that would have stopped the move,” Aiken told his hosts. “Something that important to this district and its economy  — I would have been right on top of that. […] It’s beyond me how anyone could say it’s more fiscally responsible to fly those planes in from Arkansas when we need them.  If you’re going to have the home of the Army Airborne, you need to have some way for them to get airborne.”

The hosts asked Aiken how he would balance the conservative nature of this district with the pressures in DC to bRenee Ellmerse loyal to his party.

“I don’t work for the Democrat Party,” Aiken said. “I work for the people of North Carolina, of this district. […]  I think Renee has forgotten that. I think she has paid much more attention to her party leaders in Washington than she has to the people back home.”

The hosts suggested that Aiken might be threatened by party leaders with bad committee assignments and a seat in the very back of the chamber.

“I wish them luck with that,” Aiken said. “People who know me know that no one has had much success in making me keep my mouth shut.”

Some other highlights / insights:

  • Likeability:  Listening to this interview, it’s hard not to like Aiken as a person.  (It’s actually pretty easy to dislike Renee Ellmers personally.) He has some good ideas about accessibility to constituents and placing the home folks ahead of party leadership.  (I know. A lot of people say that while they’re running.) 
  • Tempered. That is a word the Democrat used quite a bit to describe his stance on many issues.  Aiken made his name as a singer, but it sounds like he will master “tap-dancing” and tightrope walking by the time the campaign is done.  It’s clear he and his advisors recognize that they are trying to win in a very, very conservative district.  
  • Gun Control. Aiken took middle-ground positions on issues like gun control, where he poo-pooed a lot of gun control legislation — but held out for some way to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill and criminal classes.
  • Social Programs and Welfare. Aiken advocated for more ways to “incentivize” people to work rather than wait for a government check.  He cited the earned income tax credit — in its Reagan era form – as a great idea that needs to come back.
  • Military Intervention.  The Democrat was asked about the current situations in Iraq and Syria.  “We have the best prepared, best trained military in the world.  I don’t like the idea of sending them around the world in harm’s way like they’re toy soldiers.”
  • ObamaCare.  Aiken says he sees a lot of problems with the law that need to be “fixed,” but balked at the idea of a repeal.  He cited the example of a Sanford businessman struggling to adhere to the requirements of ObamaCare:  “If we had put aside all of those repeal votes, and instead focused on fixing that law, this man and people like him would probably be in a lot better shape.”
  • Amnesty.  Aiken seemed to be to the right of Ellmers on this issue.  He cited securing the southern border as the top priority. Aiken made a comparison to the 1986 effort at amnesty: “If we don’t take this seriously now, we’ll be dealing with this again in 20 or 30 years.”    But the candidate balked at the idea of deporting ALL illegals currently in the country — citing the “expense.”

Listen to the man for yourself by clicking on the link at the top of this article.  Aiken and Ellmers face the voters in November.

24 thoughts on “NC-02: Souped-up, well-prepped Clay Aiken takes to the airwaves in Moore

  1. Wow. I will be giving Aiken some time in the coming months. He sounds like he knows what he’s talking about. Good interview.

  2. Well, I have spoken well of Mr. Aiken on here before and indicated that he is smarter than usually given credit for. That’s not an I told you so, but that’s the sound of a reasonable man (me) deciding to vote for someone who IS prepared, IS centered on the job of looking after constituents, and who probably is NOT easily corrupted.
    The fact is…I would vote for Clay against Thillis, Berger, Ellmers, McCrory, Apodaca because I think he is honest and does not speak with forked tongue.
    Nice piece, Brant. Balanced, insightful, and informative.

    Folks its time to send the puppets home. Make sure they get the message this election.

    1. Clay Aiken is a liberal Democrat, and Renee Ellmers is a liberal undocumented Democrat. There is not a good choice there. Did Aiken really take a conservative position on any substantive issue? Ellmers has in the past, but then flips when she gets to DC. What is really needed is getting a good conservative warmed up in the bull pen, ready for 2016 to take down whichever dud out of this pair ends up in DC.

      Given that both the Democrat and Republican nominees make conservative want to puke, it is too bad a conservative independent did not come forward this year.

      1. I agree – looking at that district with a more long-term lens, I think it might be easier in 2016 to put up a strong opponent and have them succeed via getting rid of a one-term left-leaning Clay Aiken, versus repeating this past year’s situation of fighting the establishment money /power machine working from a position of incumbency. *shrug*

        If he’s elected, I wont be too bothered. In fact, Ellmers is such a disagreeable, unlikable person, I might even crack a tiny smile at seeing her sent packing.

        Just like the Senate, that seat is a lost cause – practically speaking, November makes little difference and the voters there have zero good outcomes available.

  3. When did politics become public assistance for former reality show celebrities? Sorry, I don’t find Mr. Aiken or his politics impressive in any way, no matter how “well prepped” some think he appears. In my opinion, Aiken is a man of questionable character, and poor impulse control – from his deleted tweets to his all too known online predilections. Even as his Democratic challenger Crisco pointed out, when Aiken was given a government appointment (on the Presidential Committee), he abandoned this responsibility. In more recent interviews Aiken claimed he wouldn’t be running a celebrity campaign, although his celebrity buddies are funding him, are publicly endorsing him, and the campaign started a fan club. There are already enough bloated phonies taken with themselves in Washington.

    1. Difference is we have a four year track record of failure in NC-2 with Renee. Hard not to trump that with some well articulated positions, even if they do come from a Democrat. We need to parse those in greater detail on his next WEEB visit. But, for now it is Clay 1 Renee 0.

    2. Everyone of us on here is the product of change and evolution. You are not the same person you were in your twenties or thirties. It’s a fact that people can and do change, and to hold someone captive in YOUR idea that all they will ever be is a celebrity or reality show participant is short sighted, and stereotyping.

      That’s like remembering Charlton Heston as Moses. When in fact he transitioned a successful acting career to become arguably the best face ever put on 2nd amendment rights.

      And then there’s my hero. Who went from cheesy army training films and even cheesier films with chimps, to becoming governor and one of saviors of this country in its time of need then. I am speaking of course of Ronald Reagan, who tamed the Democrats, saved our military might, cured years of democratic ills.

      So don’t pigeonhole people into what you think their station in life is. Your statement about Clay and his American Idol past is remarkably similar to what Renee Ellmers has to say about him.

      A couple more things…I think Clay’s brother is a Marine. He is in tune with the military aspect of things, and apparently showed it in talking about the air wing loss.

      Given the choice I would rather talk with, dine with, spend time on a desert island with a person who tells the truth and has a position than a person who constantly flips and can’t be pinned down.

      But the real test is a debate. You won’t see one between Ellmers and Aiken. Do you know why? Because deep down, Ellmers is the smoke and mirrors candidate, uninformed and counting on handlers and party seniors. Clay is the independent minded, shoot from the hip, self informed candidate.

      By the way….best line in the interview….”I don’t work for the Democratic party”. Now I would like to hear some Republicans say something like that themselves.

      1. Sorry, don’t buy what you or Aiken selling. Everything about him is fake, including your response.

        1. I actually know Clay and can positively state that he is the real deal. As genuine, hard working and down to earth as they come. We need more folks like him in DC.

          1. Well, Mike, I am sure you would say the same about Comrade Obama. Neither Akin nor Ellmers is worth a bucket of warm spit on the issues. And, if we have to have a liberal, a would rather have a lazy one than a hardworking one.

  4. I hope more of my fellow Republicans will actually listen to Aiken as he has promised to listen to them, give him a chance & don’t just vote based on the letter after his name. I trust this guy far more than Ellmers to do the right thing & be a true representative of the people. As I’ve heard him say, he doesn’t need the fame or money that comes with being in Congress. He’s had all that & it ain’t what it’s cracked up to be. He just wants to help his district & his experience in public service that started in his teens proves the kind of person he is. Aiken is one of the good guys & unlike Ellmers, he was actually born & raised & always lived in North Carolina. He’s one of us.

    1. Aiken is an Obama liberal and not conservative on anything. That said, Ellmers is such a disgusting Big Government Republican, voters in that district have no one worth voting for. Conservatives simply have to gear up for 2016 in the hopes we can get someone decent to represent that district then.

  5. “He cited the earned income tax credit — in its Reagan era form – as a great idea that needs to come back.”

    Ah, EITC has expanded (Bush 43) and is a large reason why so many do not pay federal income taxes and are on the receiving end of wealth redistribution. EITC is ripe for abuse and millions have been sent to foreign countries (Mexico as an example), imagine that illegal aliens have benefited from the EITC. The IRS does nothing about this, they just look the other way.

    Look up Aiken’s deleted tweets, he is clueless on the debt.

    Who to vote for Aiken or Ellmers? It will be interesting to see how many people leave that race blank or write in a name.

    Ellmers is lucky, had the border crisis exploded prior to the primary she would likely have lost. However, turnout was poor so people who sat home and did not vote have only themselves to blame.

  6. If Clay Aiken, with all the opportunities he has been given in the last ten years, can not successfully manage his money and his career how can he possibly help the people of NC? Sure, he can talk, but we have way too much of that in DC as it is.

    I think it is important to learn if he truly receives child support from the mother of his child.

    I think good character is important and I wonder who the true Clay Aiken is. He has kept so much secret and deleted many tweets that portrayed him as hot headed and unstable even wanting to punch others in the throat!

    Clay reminds me of Anthony Weiner for a number of reasons.

    1. Good point. However, Renee Ellmers reminds be of Benedict Arnold for a number of reasons. Conservatives really have no one to vote for in that district.

    2. I will not vote for Ellmers under any circumstance. I have zero confidence that either Aiken or Ellmers will represent the people of NC2 rather than bow to their party leaders, but there’s one thing I do know.

      Ellmers is already a proven liar. She has already hurled insults and charges of “racist” at her constituents. She has already voted to put the interests of illegal aliens ahead of struggling Americans. She has repeatedly and publicly promised us she will continue to support illegal aliens.

  7. How sad that Ellmer’s attack dogs feel the need to start rumors about a really good man. Go away.

  8. I agree with Daniel. These rumors come from a tabloid website and suddenly people are doubting the character of a man who in 2003 co-founded and still continues to chair an organization devoted to inclusion opportunities for kids with disabilities. His whole post Idol career shows a history of giving back through advocacy for numerous charities and causes. District 2 needs a change. I say, give Aiken two years to prove himself to be the candidate he says he is – and then, if you are unhappy, replace him! At least for 2 years, you’ll have someone who’ll listen to you and try to represent District 2’s interests.

      1. R, your outrageous comments have proven you to be an idiot teabagger. And whomever believes tabloid stories about celebs is a moron. Lol!

  9. There are congress men and women on both sides who aren’t self serving like Ellmers and her like. Sadly, they’re not in power. It’s high time for elected officials to start acting like the public servants they were elected to be. We desperately need representatives who will be willing to “give a little bit” and not stand around with their “arms crossed” like petulant children. We’re the ones who suffer for their unwillingness to get anything done because the wrong side brought it up. I may not agree with everything Clay says, but I like his resolve to serve the people and not himself or a Party. He’s got common sense, which is more than I can say for most members of Congress. Yeah I’m fed up, and I’m voting.

    1. The problem with Renee Ellmers is that she is constantly selling out on principle. She doesn’t ”give a little” but instead gives away the whole store. I don’t know what planet you live on, but lack of principle and lack of a backbone are Ellmers two greatest faults.

      I see you are channeling Obama’s ”get something done” mantra, so naturally you support a leftwing Obama Democrat like Aiken. For taxpayers and the middle class, it is much better that nothing did done, as opposed to Big Government legislation like Obamacare or amnesty for illegal aliens getting passed.

      Government is not a means of solving a problem. Government IS the problem.

      Limited government voters in the 2nd district have no one to vote for. One candidate is an Obama Democrat and the other an Obama Republican.

  10. You really need to click on a warm welcome and listen to the entire 30+ minute interview. He sounds like a Reagan Democrat. I felt as though Clay was well versed and articulate in this interview. We can afford to lose a house seat. He would be a breath of fresh air to Renee’s ilk.

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