#ncsen 2016: The doctor is IN !

I’ll have to admit we were caught off guard around here. But Twitter lit up over the news this morning:


The last we heard from this guy — he was on the losing end of a divisive, bitter 2014 US Senate primary and things weren’t looking too promising in a certain court case.  However, the Cary OB-GYN has apparently stepped back into the spotlight with a vengeance in a year dominated by an angry electorate that may be more receptive to his rebel style.

If he wants this go-around to be more successful, he needs to learn TWO valuable lessons from 2014.  First, the lawsuit and its ensuing news coverage raised serious questions about his integrity.  Brannon needs to put that legal matter to rest and do something to restore voter confidence.

Second, he needs to take THIS advice from a Charlotte-based conservative writer:

[…] Brannon didn’t connect with people as well as he needed to, especially during the debate on April 22 at Davidson College. It wasn’t his Tea Party ideas that turned people away—those are quite popular in the state. It was his personality and his approach, which I saw firsthand at a fundraising event with Sen. Mike Lee. While Brannon could quote the Constitution like no one else—something Lee praised him for as he introduced him to the small, mostly older crowd—Brannon came across as somewhat heady and disconnected from the people in the room.burr

During the debate at Davidson, Brannon quoted the Constitution 15 times right out of the gate. While Harris and Army nurse Heather Grant talked about personal issues or made practical applications, Brannon often focused on the Constitution, which made him seem academic and even harsh at times, especially compared to the others. Don’t get me wrong. The Constitution is central to the conservative message, but Tea Party candidates can get their point across about freedom and about what the Constitution says without sounding like a lawyer or a legal scholar.

Conservatives need to apply the message of the Constitution to people’s lives in a real and personal way—in a way they can relate to and understand. They need to be inspired and touched by the message of freedom, not just hear citations of which article in the Constitution says what.

Too often, Brannon sounded like a biblical scholar trying to evangelize to the downtrodden or even the skeptic by quoting Scripture at them. For example, when asked about what Republicans need to do to be successful in campaigns and governing, Brannon said, “I believe this is the question. It’s what the Constitution is, what the Republic is. The Constitution restrains the federal government, gives it 18 functions in article 1 section 8. . .” Meanwhile, Harris connected with the audience, making eye contact with them and talking about standing for what you believe.

When asked about immigration, Brannon brusquely said, “First thing, no amnesty. Our citizenship is precious and special. In the Constitution article four, section four, it’s the federal government’s role to actually protect sovereign borders.” The other candidates kept it simple, even personal, and talked about the need to close the borders first so people can be protected.

The impact on some voters was to turn away from Brannon to other candidates—not because they were pro-establishment or swayed by Karl Rove’s millions and not because they disagreed with Brannon. But they found him to be personally disconnected and they put their vote toward someone else.

Bill Janning, a retired Marine and Aerospace Field Service Engineer for Boeing who lives in Jacksonville, N.C., supported Brannon at the outset, but after the debate, he decided to vote for Harris.gregbrannon

“Brannon absolutely stood for a lot of things that I believe in—more so than Tillis,” Janning said. “He stands for the Constitution. I support that. I also agree with him on social issues. He’s right there. He can quote the Constitution backwards and forwards, but I think in the debate that was a negative. In my opinion he is not very effective in projecting his feelings without alienating some people. I think he lost connectivity with the people. It’s not that the people aren’t interested or that they don’t believe in what he’s saying, but they want to hear it in a more practical and personal way. I got that from Mark Harris. He was the one I connected to the most and that’s why I ended up voting for him.”


Brannon SO NEEDS to take those words to heart if he wants a better result than what 2014 offered.  Richard Burr is a disappointment in so many levels. (The senator and I share a number of mutual friends in the Winston-Salem area.  They’re even privately expressing disappointment in him.) 

Brannon needs to use his amazing communication skills to explain to the electorate WHAT is wrong in Washington, and how Tricky Dick has aided and abetted it all. How Burr is more willing to pick a fight with Ted Cruz than he is with Barry Obama.  

Brannon is well-versed and well-educated enough to make this campaign a lesson on the virtues of limited government.  And there’s not a damn thing wrong with that. 

41 thoughts on “#ncsen 2016: The doctor is IN !

  1. I’m happy to have a real choice and a principled alternative to Burr, no question. However, I can’t disagree with any of the above advice. Brannon is better than Burr, no question, but no one is perfect, and I hope he’ll implement some changes this time around to have a better outcome.

  2. Whatever happened with that lawsuit? If it is still around, that will be a distraction.

    You are right that Brannon needs to be able to speak in sound bites about key issues that voters care about, and he needs to be constantly contrasting himself with Burr. He is getting in late, and there is no time to pussyfoot around.

  3. If that lawsuit hasn’t already been resolved, and clearly in his favor, then he should drop out now. He can’t have a lawsuit that questions his ethics hanging over his head while taking peoples hard earned money for his campaign.

    He also needs to accept t you can’t be for personal liberty and then demand that the government enforce your religious beliefs on others. If he’s going to be a strict social conservative candidate like he campaigned as in 2012 then he needs to drop the “liberty candidate” charade.

  4. Unacceptable. He waits until the last minute to file, knowing good and well that two real conservatives are committed to oppose Burr. He’s doing to Holmquist and Wright what Harris did to him. People in my county organization supported him last time but he should have given all of us including the other two challengers, some advance notice that he would run.

    1. I have watched the other two miss major opportunities. One was to demand an apology from Burr about the ”investigation” of Cruz. Another was to hammer him hard on his vote for cloture to move the funding of Obama’s policies forward. Both of the other two missed the boat on both of those and they were real opportunities to get some earned media coverage. We need at least one conservative candidate who will take the fight to Burr hard.

      1. Burr is a Cloture Troll. He’s a RINO and votes Cloture to end debate so the vote can go forward and he can pretend to be Conservative by being on record voting “No” on a bill that would’ve been stop if Cloture wasn’t invoked. The Bill passes and he’ll say I did the Conservative thing by voting “No”. The Conservative thing would’ve not voted for Cloture and kept the debate going. Burr, Tillis and Ellmers are pathetic.

      2. I have been taking the fight to Burr hard for over three months, GUWonder. I’m sorry my efforts haven’t been enough for you.

        You know, sometimes it’s just not possible to respond to EVERY outrage by Richard Burr within five minutes. I don’t have a laptop surgically attached to my arm, and sometimes smartphones just aren’t practical to use.

        I’m happy for you that you’ve found the right candidate to take the fight to Mr. Burr. Too bad he didn’t start earlier.

        Larry Holmquist

    2. I agree with you, Toxhandler.

      While Mr. Brannon certainly had the right to file at any time he saw fit, I’m afraid he has just handed the U.S. Senate primary to Richard Burr on a silver platter.

      Larry Holmquist

  5. THRILLED that Dr. Brannon jumped back in! We were HOPING he would and had been dissappointed until now! Dr. Brannon is the kind of leadership we need in place of Sen. Milquetoast Burr! Super glad he filed at the last minute !!!

  6. Will be interesting to see the matchup. Met Brannon last year and while he knows a great deal about the Constitution, he needs to be able to translate that into solutions and ideas instead of just “Well, Article I Section 8 says…” If he can get rid of the blowhard reputation and the lawsuit and raise money, he can make it interesting.

  7. Over 20 years ago I needed a doctor and I went to see Dr. Greg Brannon. Over the years, he has proven himself to me over and over again as a doctor. I have seen and heard him on political issues and agree with him 1000%. There are some issues that I don’t know that much about, but my faith in Greg Brannon and his knowledge and passion, give me confidence that he will vote the true Conservative vote. He doesn’t just say he believes in a cause, he lives it out everyday. He is pro life…one of the few OB-GYN’s in the country that have sworn an oath to never perform an abortion. He donates his time and services to mothers’s who choose life over abortion. I know of two mothers right now that were headed to an abortion clinic and I sent them to Greg. They have chosen life…and Greg is making sure they are well cared for…at no charge. When you see a man put that much of himself into a cause that he believes with his all of his being, you know he is someone you can count on.He constantly puts others above himself. You will never meet a more generous person who is willing to sacrifice it all for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness! There isn’t anything that anyone can ever say or do that shake my firm belief in Greg Brannon’s integrity. He is the real thing and I whole heartedly back Brannon in 2016!

  8. Let me get this straight. You want to replace a GOP Senator with a 90% grade from the American Conservative Union with someone who misled investors and would probably lose the seat to the Democratic candidate (resulting in a 0-20% ACU ranking representing you)? Maybe you could recruit Sharron Angle for Lt. Governor and Christine O’Donnell for Governor so that we could lose all three statewide races that we should win. We could call the ticket “Principled Losers for NC.”

    1. ACU’s rating has become a joke when ACU was run by Bush operative Al Cardenas. It should have started calling itself the American Establishment Union. ACU manipulated its rating to give Mitch McConnell a 100% when he had a primary challenge.

      The respected rating out there these days is that of the Heritage Foundation, and Burr’s rating with them has been in the 30’s and 40’s, distinctly left of center. In fact, at some points, Burr has been rated to the left of Lindsay Graham. Many also follow the Conservative Review ratings, where Burr has received F’s.

      The two candidates you mention won primaries because the establishment recruited such duds to oppose them. In Nevada, the establishment’s preferred candidate earned the nickname ”chicken woman” during the primary due to a stupid statement about patients bringing in chickens to pay their doctors which stuck to her. Sharon Angle was not the best candidate, but she was probably more electable than chicken woman. In Delaware, the establishment’s choice was the only Republican in the House to vote for radical Democrat legislation that goosestepped all over the 1st amendment and was very vocal about it. He lost a lot of even establishment support from that, and mostly defeated himself in the primary from his own radical position.

    2. Under the Heritage Foundation rating, RIchard Burr votes more often with Harry Reid on key issues than with Ted Cruz, and yes, that is the type of Senator we need to replace.

      A good example of why Burr needs to be replaced was his vote, with Harry Reid and against Ted Cruz, for cloture on the Omnibus.

    3. Pants on fire, Ed. Burr’s rating was 88 this year and 84 last year. It’s much lower with folks like Heritage with 43% and Freedomworks with 67%.

  9. “…Brannon came across as somewhat heady and disconnected from the people in the room.”


    And I would add that he’s not as smart as he thinks he is, which always has a way of playing itself out in a negative manner.

    I’ll go with Holmquist.

    1. Thank you, jweaks. I truly appreciate your support.

      While my job just became more difficult, I’ll continue to tell voters all across North Carolina that we don’t need to put up with Richard Burr for six more years. Our state deserves much better!

      Larry Holmquist

  10. I couldn’t agree more with the conservative writer. Brannon is right on principle and policy. But he was not able to talk to people in a simple way and explain why the Constitution is important and how what Obama and the ruling elites is soooooo damaging to this country and its people.

    You have to break ideas down and communicate them in ways that affect people at an emotional level, not just an intellectual level.

    1. He needs better campaign staff. I was at one meeting where his campaign manager announced that he was leaving message to the candidate. Any competent campaign manager would be highly involved in helping craft message. Brannon also waiting far too late to start contrasting himself on policy with Tillis. He needs to jump on that very quickly with Burr.

      1. He started 18 months before the 2014 Primary, now he announces 90 days out against Burr. I’m with jweaks, Holmquist is the candidate for me.

        1. Thanks again for your consistent support, Toxhandler. I hope I can thank you in person someday.

          Larry Holmquist

  11. Perhaps he was a little disconnected from people in the room. Did that have anything to do with OUR lack of knowledge on the US Constitution? I was inspired to study and learn more about our founding documents after hearing him speak. After all, that is where all of our answers lie governmentally. If we want to rid ourselves of the cancer of Progressivism, get back to the documents in which the Dr. was educating people on, including myself.
    27% is a good percentage to build off of as well.

  12. Brannon is a natural to win this race. I can see a surge of Brannon voters who realize that this man knows the Constitution.

  13. The writer has a correct analysis of Dr. Brannon…but as many here have commented his knowledge & historical application of the constitution is inspiring and I agree he needs better political mgmt. damned better than the Burr in my side!

  14. I have seen him speak in person . I did not find him to be disconnected at all. I was inspired by everything he had to say and could have listened a lot longer.

  15. Watch Burr pretend to be conservative from now untill the election. I will support Brannon. Time for change.

  16. I find Brannon’s entry at this late date to be narcissistic, counter productive and divisive. Why is he jumping in now?! To divide the conservative vote and ensure Burr’s nomination?! Why is he shooting us in the foot? Why are we all not uniting behind Holmquist??? Same with district 02. Divide the GOP field to pave the way for Ellmers? Why are we so stupid?? Surely there is some other race that Brannon could have entered to take down the Dems. What a waste.

    1. Thanks, Kim. You’ve commented several times on this race, and you’ve always been very supportive. I appreciate it very much.

      The euphoria over Brannon’s last-minute entry will wear off, and the unpleasant reality that he has split the conservative vote and likely given the primary to Burr will slowly sink in.

      You’re right–a wasted opportunity, and very unfortunate.

      Larry Holmquist

  17. I agree the lawsuit issue needs to be resolved. We must fight to get him elected! Look at how Tillis immediately joined Burr and McConnell to give Obama everything he wanted in this Omnibus Bill, including all the funding he needs to bring in the Syrian Invaders and keep Planned Parenthood funded. Yes, Brannon is late in getting in, but we must get behind him! He should have won in 2014 and he must win in 2016, with our help and a lot of prayer. Burr shows up out here only during election years!

    1. It did not start with the Omnibus bill. It has been going on since Tillis has been there. Look at their Heritage Foundation ratings – Burr in the 30s and 40s and Tillis in the 50s. Neither is a conservative. Same thing with their Conservative Review ratings.

      Another good example is the appointment of the radical leftist Loretta Lynch as Attorney General. Both voted for her on the key vote, the one for cloture.

      Our Senators are a major embarrassment to any thinking NC Republican.

  18. If every person who is party to a lawsuit is automatically disqualified to run for office, we need to start suing Democrats right and left. Who thought winning could be so easy? Not everyone who wins a lawsuit is a good guy, and not everyone who loses is a bad guy. Brannon may have skeletons in his closet. Time will tell.

    I’ve never met Brannon, but I have heard him speak. I did communicate with him once while he was doing a radio show, but his response was rather short and somewhat terse. In fact, his response seemed a little arrogant. It was a surprise.

    Like the Ellmers race, this crowded field probably assures that Burr wins the primary, but Burr will not be getting my vote in the general. The only question is whether I vote for a Democrat or abstain from voting for the seat.

    GUWonder, I don’t know who you are, but your posts in this thread are dead on. Based on what little interaction I’ve had with the Brannon campaign, he clearly needs new staff. He also needs to get a consultant who knows what he or she is doing and who will tell him the truth about the way he comes across to potential voters.

  19. Dr. Brannon’s announcement is the best political news to come out of NC in a long time. He is a rock solid constitutional conservative. I can see him now standing up to Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell and the entire #WashingtonCartel
    I think his filing at the last minute was brilliant. Otherwise the GOPe would have had 5 others enter the race. His press release was outstanding and his video message was on point.
    I’m all in for Dr. Brannon to retire Burr. Conservatives can chose to widen the divide left from the Harris/Tillis debacle, giving the establishment a win or they can rally to #MakeDCListen. The whole country will be watching this one. Let’s do this.

  20. There is a tremendous groundswell of support arising for Dr. Brannon. I remember back in 2014 when Dr. Brannon appeared on the Glenn Beck Show:


    “Glenn Beck was so impressed by U.S. Senate candidate Greg Brannon on Tuesday that he told his entire radio audience he could “tongue kiss” the man.

    “I could tongue kiss you,” Beck told the North Carolina Republican with a laugh, “and I’m not a guy who does that.”

    Beck said the first time he and his co-hosts interviewed Brannon, it may have been the “best interview we’ve had from any candidate we’ve ever been with.” Tuesday, Beck added, marked the “second best interview of any candidate that we’ve had.”

    “This is why Rand Paul has endorsed; Mike Lee has endorsed; FreedomWorks has endorsed,” Beck said.”


    This time I think it will be different and we will bring Senator Burr back home.

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