On his way to support South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie stopped in Wilmington Tuesday, Sept. 16, with U.S. Senatorial candidate Thom Tillis to endorse Tillis’ campaign.
“America cannot move in the direction we have to move unless we elect Thom Tillis to the United States Senate in 49 days,” Christie said. “I spend almost all of my time campaigning for gubernatorial candidates but this senate race is so important that … I wanted to come here and help Thom Tillis become Senator Thom Tillis.”
Tillis and Christie appeared in Dixie Grill in downtown Wilmington with a large group of film industry supporters gathered outside the restaurant on Market Street protesting the two politicians. The North Carolina General Assembly, led by Tillis as Speaker of the House, did not renew the N.C. film incentive package for the Fiscal Year 2014-15 budget in the recent short session.
Inside Dixie Grill, Tillis said he has always supported the film industry.
“I have been working to try and help this industry and hopefully we can convince the Senate to come back and make some progress on it next year,” Tillis said. “My record is very clear on supporting this industry and we want to do more and I think we will.”
When asked whether he would change his strategy in reaching women voters with his opponent, current U.S. Senator Kay Hagan, polling better among that demographic, Tillis said he would stay the course.
“I think we have to stay focused on what Kay Hagan has failed to do and the promises that she has broken,” Tillis said. “Kay Hagan said she was going to go to Washington and be different but she has become part of the Washington establishment.”
While Gov. Christie said he was excited about visiting with the protestors gathered outside the front of the restaurant, he and Tillis worked their way through the restaurant meeting supporters before exiting through the rear entrance around 11 a.m.
In an email response to Christie’s claims Tuesday that Hagan is, “a rubber stamp for Barack Obama,” Hagan’s campaign press secretary Chris Hayden stated Hagan opposed the president and her party on multiple occasions.
“She has opposed the president and her party on several issues including her support for the Keystone Pipeline, opposing trade deals that were wrong for North Carolina, killing an amendment in the Farm Bill that would have devastated tobacco farmers,” Hayden stated Tuesday, Sept. 16. “She also voted against her own party’s budget because of deep cuts to the military.”
Responding to Tillis’ claims that Hagan has been inactive in her role as chair of the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities, specifically concerning the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Hayden stated Hagan has long been concerned about the group’s capabilities.
“Kay chaired a hearing in April 2013 and specifically asked about the violence in Syria spilling into Iraq and strengthening al Qaeda in Iraq which was what ISIS was called at the time,” he stated.
Hagan and Tillis are running for one of North Carolina’s two seats in the U.S. Senate in the 2014 elections to be held Tuesday, Nov. 4. Several write-in candidates for this seat have also been approved for the ballot.