Following a brutal News & Observer editorial, calling Senator Tillis’ flip flop on the SCOTUS vacancy a “profile in compliance,” Senator Tillis is making front page news in Winston Salem for “sing[ing] a different tune” now that Republicans hold a majority.
Spectrum News also reported on the hypocrisy of his 2016 comments: “Consider it a bit of a role reversal compared to four years ago.”
In 2016, Senator Tillis wrote: “This is about principle, not the person whom President Obama has nominated to fill the vacancy.” But North Carolina knows that when Thom Tillis “stands on principle,” it doesn’t take much for him to cave to partisan politics, which is why it’s no surprise that now, he has confirmed he will support President Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court without even knowing who the nominee will be. It’s clear he is “clinging to Trump’s coattails in a desperate hope that his blind subservience to the president can get him re-elected to an office that is supposed to be about independent judgment and leadership.”
And for Tillis, that means standing behind the president’s pick even if they vote to eliminate the Affordable Care Act. Health care has become even more central to North Carolina voters as the GOP lawsuit that threatens to eliminate the Affordable Care Act is set to start oral arguments the week after the election. Senator Tillis has stood behind the lawsuit, even as it threatens to dismantle a law that currently provides at least 20 million Americans with health coverage, and protects 1.7 million North Carolinians living with pre-existing conditions.
Over the weekend, Cal Cunningham released a statement on the SCOTUS vacancy: “North Carolinians are already voting and will continue to do so in the coming weeks. They deserve that opportunity to have their voices heard, and then, it should be up to the next President and next Senate to fill the vacancy on our Court.”
North Carolina voters want an independent leader. Senator Tillis has forfeited any right to that claim. Christina from Greensboro wrote: “In the wake of Justice Ginsburg’s death, Sen. Thom Tillis wasted no time in demonstrating exactly who he is — an unprincipled hypocrite whose word means nothing.”
Kevin Frey – September 21, 2020
- As the battle brews on Capitol Hill, expect the fight to trickle down into North Carolina’s must-watch U.S. Senate race.
- In a statement over the weekend, Sen. Thom Tillis, the Republican incumbent, did not object to moving forward with the nominating process, suggesting he is prepared for whoever Trump selects.
- Flashback to 2016, Tillis was among those who objected to the Senate taking up an Obama nominee to replace Justice Antonin Scalia after his death in February of that year.
- During a Senate floor speech explaining his position just days after Scalia’s passing, Tillis said, “the campaign is already underway.”
- “It is essential to the institution of the Senate and to the very health of our republic, not to launch our nation into a partisan, divisive confirmation battle during the very same time the American people are casting ballots to elect our next president,” he said.
- Tillis reiterated this argument months later in an August 2016 op-ed in USA Today, writing, “Voters — not a lame-duck president — should decide the composition of the highest court in the land.”
- “This is about principle, not the person whom President Obama has nominated to fill the vacancy,” he continued.
Editorial Board – September 21, 2020
- Anything President Trump wants, Sen. Thom Tillis is willing to deliver. North Carolina’s junior senator is clinging to Trump’s coattails in a desperate hope that his blind subservience to the president can get him re-elected to an office that is supposed to be about independent judgment and leadership.
- But the willingness of Republican senators to go along represents a towering act of hypocrisy. Republicans denied President Obama’s right to fill the seat of the late Justice Antonin Scalia nearly nine months before the 2016 election on the grounds that a vacancy on the court should not be filled in an election year until the people have spoken at the polls.
- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was the architect of that rule and Tillis agreed. Tillis said in a 2016 speech on the Senate floor: “The campaign is already underway. It is essential to the institution of the Senate and to the very health of our republic to not launch our nation into a partisan, divisive confirmation battle during the very same time the American people are casting their ballots to elect our next president.”
- Now that is a profile in compliance. No only does Tillis endorse the Senate considering Trump’s nominee late in an election year, he’s committed to voting yes before the nominee is vetted or testifies.