Last year we transitioned from a senator BuRR to a senator BuDD. A lot of folks — including some at this website — were hoping, hoping, hoping that there would be more change to the character of our US Senate delegation than THAT.
Ted Budd was oh-so-promising in the US House. He and Dan. Bishop were right there together on the front lines with the House Freedom Caucus. Surely, Ted would bring some of that fire to the Senate — to give Cruz, Lee, and Paul some desperately needed help.
Budd got to the Senate and hired a Big Pharma lobbyist as his chief of staff, and a longtime Tillis crony to run his communications effort. THAT was a bit concerning.
To make matters worse, we began seeing headlines like, oh, THIS — showing Tillis and Budd teaming up on all kinds of stuff. (Personally, I liked Ted better when he was teaming with his pal Dan. There’s also another Ted in the Senate I’d much rather see him hanging with. People really don’t like Tillis. He got censured, remember?)
I’ve met Budd once. He gave me a few minutes to talk on the record about a few issues. As he left, I told him that there are people out here who would much rather see him hanging with the other Ted, Mike Lee, and Rand Paul, instead of Tillis.
Budd’s response to me? “Stay tuned.”
I decided to take a gander at some of the political rating services to see how our rookie senator stacks up. A lot of groups who used to rate conservatism of elected officials appear to be softening up dramatically or abandoning the practice altogether. Perhaps the heat from donors and party officials was getting to be too much.
But there is some intel out there to give us a hint about how this whole Tillis-Budd dynamic is working. Conservative Review still has data on Madison Cawthorn. They list Budd as still in the House. So, they are a wee bit out-of-date. But, for 2022, Ted Budd got an 84 percent (B) conservative rating, while Tillis got a 49 percent (F) rating. (Richard Burr got a 46 percent rating.)
Club For Growth only had data for 2022. They rated Dan Bishop (98%) and Ted Budd (97%) as the most conservative members of the state’s congressional delegation. Thom Tillis earned a quite nasty 65 percent rating.
Heritage Action appears to have the most up-to-date info for their ratings system. Through 2023, here is how our two senators rank with Heritage in terms of conservatism:
Once again, Thom FAILS. Here are the key votes IDed by Heritage for calculating the ratings:
So, Thommy doesn’t want anyone overseeing Ukraine aid, and is cool with raising the debt ceiling and even MORE deficit spending?
If you consider the data we’ve explored here, it looks more like ol’ Thom needs Ted a lot more than Ted need Thom. Thom Tillis is despised by his party’s home-state base, and has yet to break the 50 percent mark in his Senate races. Ted Budd has the conservative background, and has the potential to be a great conservative senator. If Budd has any sense, he’d kick that scraggly, mangy beady-eyed weasel to the curb, spread his wings and chart his own path to greatness. You don’t need him, Ted. (In all honesty, he probably doesn’t even really like you. He needs your coattails to keep his grift going.)