Thom Tillis’ campaign and national Republicans are firing back at a Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee TV ad earlier this week slamming the House speaker on education cuts.
The new TV commercial says education funding has increased every year since Tillis ran the state House, and that he was instrumental in this year’s budget giving teachers an average 7 percent raise (which included longevity pay that the budget eliminated).
In the ad, Tillis, at a classroom marker board demonstrating what he calls “simple math,” brings up the Republican criticism of incumbent U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan that she voted with President Obama 96 percent of the time and that the national debt has increased more than $7 trillion since they have been in office. (The 96 percent number comes form a Congressional Quarterly analysis of 2013 votes, which also found Hagan “went against the grain more often than all but three of her Democratic colleagues.”)
“But math is lost on Senator Hagan,” Tillis says. “She’s misleading you about me to hide her own partisan record.”
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The ad buy is part of a $1.4 million broadcast and cable drive over three weeks in September, coordinated between Tillis’ campaign and the National Republican Senatorial Committee, according to a campaign spokesman. Beginning Tuesday, the ads will run in Raleigh, Charlotte, Asheville, Greensboro, Greenville and Wilmington markets.
Hagan spokeswoman Sadie Weiner issued this in response: "Kay wrote state budgets and she knows how these numbers work. Rather than critiquing Kay's math capabilities, Speaker Tillis should show North Carolinians that he actually cares about education by undoing his tax cuts for the wealthy that put the squeeze on our classrooms and effectively rigged the system against middle class families."
The ongoing Democratic claims of Tillis’ tax cuts for the wealthy refers to the income tax overhaul the legislature passed.