Cal and Senator Thom Tillis will meet shortly for the third debate. Follow along below for the latest information on the contrast in this race. Updates will be posted in real time
In 2014, Senator Tillis described himself as someone who would be an “independent” senator who would “stand up to the president when he’s wrong and stand up to our leadership.” He attacked his opponent for voting with the president “95 percent of the time,” and said she failed to “uphold her promises to be an ‘independent’ Senator” and was a “rubber stamp.” Flash forward six years and Senator Tillis has failed his own test of independence.
After the death of George Floyd, Cal Cunningham released his priorities for constructive change in policing, drawing inspiration from President Barack Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, his time working with advocacy groups and law enforcement leaders as Vice Chairman of the Governor’s Crime Commission, and his years of service as a prosecutor and in military service.
Two independent fact checkers have now confirmed that Senator Tillis’ attacks on Cal Cunningham around law and order are false. Cal has made it clear that twenty-first century policing will require an increased investment in law enforcement, not defunding it, and that violations of civil and Constitutional rights and racial issues demand action and substantial change, which is why he released his priorities for constructive change in policing.
As Speaker of the North Carolina House, Senator Tillis passed one of the “worst racial gerrymanders in the nation” that was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court and one of the country’s most restrictive voter suppression bills, a “monster” bill that was ultimately struck down by the courts for its unconstitutional efforts to “target African Americans with almost surgical precision.”
Senator Tillis has taken hundreds of thousands of dollars from corporate polluters and done their bidding in Washington, including refusing to protect our clean water and working to open up our coast line to offshore drilling.
In Washington, Senator Tillis championed a bill that overwhelmingly benefited the wealthy and corporations and added $2 trillion t o our national debt, claiming that it would “pay for itself.” And as Speaker of the House, Tillis cut taxes for the wealthy and eliminated tax breaks for teachers buying supplies and families saving for college.
Senator Tillis is attacking Cal for claiming a tax credit even though Tillis himself is on record speaking in favor of the tax credit. Senator Tillis is hoping that North Carolinians will forget about his own record on taxes, including his support of the 2017 tax bill, which exploded the national deficit and failed to live up to its promises that the bill would help working families. But North Carolina voters know better.
Senator Tillis is desperately attempting to distract from his record putting his corporate special interest donors and the wealthiest few before working North Carolinians and teachers, criticizing a budget from 20 years ago that made investments in education, child care, and North Carolina families.
With Oklahoma and Missouri expanding Medicaid in recent months, North Carolina remains one of only 12 states that has not expanded health care to low-income working families — and as Thom Tillis’ own ad says, “it’s because of Thom Tillis.”
Tillis’ support for the GOP’s reckless lawsuit is part of a disastrous record on health care. Tillis has voted to partially or fully repeal the Affordable Care Act 15 times, even calling one of those votes “courageous,” and said he would vote to repeal the ACA “every time it comes to the floor.”
Senator Tillis’ Protect Act has been panned by experts across the ideological spectrum for leaving protections for pre-existing conditions “on the cutting room floor.”
For years, Senator Tillis has worked to reduce access to health care, and unfortunately for women and families in our state, Senator Tillis is rigid and uncompromising on women’s health. Cal Cunningham will always stand up for women’s health by opposing efforts by Washington politicians to cut funding for women’s health care, defending Roe v. Wade against attacks, and protecting and building off of the Affordable Care Act.
After saying he would vote by mail, encouraging North Carolinians that it was a secure way to cast their vote, and even challenging Cal Cunningham to serve as a role model and vote by mail in the upcoming election, Senator Tillis caved to the partisan pressures and questioned if absentee ballots would be counted accurately.
Not only is Tillis hypocritically contradicting the position he took in 2016 and breaking a promise he gave North Carolinians in 2017 to “consistently uphold” that principle “regardless of whether the tables are turned,” he’s also putting North Carolinians’ health care and protections for people with pre-existing conditions “in greater danger.”
Senator Tillis thinks he has “political cover” to head home after voting for a sham bill that does not provide North Carolinians the relief that they need. Even the President doesn’t think it goes far enough. The bill does not:
Cal Cunningham has released detailed plans for next steps of COVID-19 to help North Carolina and our nation guard against the next wave and future pandemics, create jobs, and ensure support reaches all North Carolinians.
Instead of passing additional coronavirus relief to extend federal unemployment benefits to the hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians who remain out of work and provide relief for state and local governments that are experiencing massive budget shortfalls, Senator Tillis joined Mitch McConnell in delaying action and packing up for a long summer vacation. In fact, North Carolina received some of the lowest amount of federal aid per capita.