Ever since Robin Hayes’ name popped up in connection with Charlotte pastor Mark Harris’ US Senate campaign, we’ve been a little suspicious. Hayes, while NCGOP chairman, was TIGHT with House speaker Thom Tillis — carrying his water at every opportunity. SO, why on Earth would Robin decide to chair the campaign of a rival to Tillis for the GOP’s US Senate nomination? Our friend Chuck Suter, armed with his trusty video camera, sought out — and got — some answers from the former congressman and state GOP chairman:
“There is no rift [between me and Thom Tillis]. Thom is one of the most remarkable, accomplished, well-spoken people that I have ever known.”
Um, Oh-KAY. That would have to make a candidate feel *really good* to hear his campaign chairman issue an endorsement like that for his opponent. Well, if Tillis so great, why aren’t you signed on to his campaign team?
“I just happen to be closer to Mark Harris’ world view than I do Thom’s.”
Really? Harris is the outgoing president of The Southern Baptist Convention. Hayes is a longtime member of The Ripon Society – a liberal Republican group that has fought tooth and nail over the last four or five decades to weed conservative and religious right influence from the GOP’s ranks. Talk about cats and dogs living together.
“Thom is a great guy. We have three outstanding candidates [in this race] that I am aware of.”
Hayes said his goal for the GOP Senate primary is “a positive learning experience that strengthens our position against all the liberals who are clearly wrong on every issue.”
Kinda like that little “meeting” he, um, held with North Carolina’s delegation at the 2012 RNC convention in Tampa, I guess.