Jindal, Huckabee say NC key to Senate control

06/07/2014 9:19 PM

02/15/2015 11:26 AM

Two potential 2016 contenders rallied North Carolina Republicans on Saturday at the party’s convention in Cherokee, emphasizing the state’s importance in the national political picture.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal touted House Speaker Thom Tillis, saying he’s done “an amazing, amazing job” leading a conservative push in the state legislature, comparing North Carolina’s turn to the one in his state.

“Electing (Tillis) to the U.S. Senate means we can retire Harry Reid as the majority leader,” Jindal said, evoking a name that received as much -- if not more -- vitriol than President Barack Obama.

A late addition to the program, Jindal drew a robust crowd of admirers who mobbed him for photos. He told his personal story and took aim at Obama.

“The thing that worries me the most about this president’s administration,” he said, is the president’s attempt to “redefine the definition of the American dream.”

Like he did the day before at a South Carolina Republican Party event, Jindal took aim at the controversy surrounding the prisoner release to secure the return of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

“We are apparently now engaging in a catch-and-release program when it comes to hunting down terrorists,” he said, calling it the “final straw for me at least from this administration.”

In the evening, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee took the stage at the dinner. He supported Rev. Mark Harris in the GOP primary for U.S. Senate, but endorsed Tillis.

“The primary is over. The voters have spoken. You have a nominee,” he said.

North Carolina, he added, is “one of the most important states. You absolutely must retire Kay Hagan and elect Thom Tillis.”

Huckabee kept his remarks light-hearted, telling personal stories but delivering a few partisan lines. He said he’s “not so worried that China is getting more like we used to be. I’m worried we are getting more like they used to be.”

“That’s why this election year is so very vital and important because we can’t afford to let Harry Reid continue to sit in the front of the room of the Senate for one more day,” he continued.

North Carolina, he added, is “one of the most important states. You absolutely must retire Kay Hagan and elect Thom Tillis.”

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