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8.29.20

What They’re Saying: Tillis Unmasks A Flurry Of Bad Press After Violating Standard He Gave His Constituents

“Had He Masked Up Trump Would Have Probably Ridiculed Him From The Stage For Being Weak”

Tillis “Had A Bad Case Of Morning-After Regrets”

RALEIGH, NC — Senator Thom Tillis unmasked a flurry of bad press yesterday after Tillis got caught without a mask on the White House lawn Thursday night. While his campaign “tweeted a picture of the first-term senator wearing a mask on the South Lawn of the White House on Thursday night before Trump’s speech,” when media outlets showed images of the crowd later in the evening, “there sat Tillis within the tightly packed, largely unmasked crowd, also not wearing a mask.”

Instead of standing up to his own party and practicing what he’s been preaching, he “violate[d] directives Tillis has given his own constituents”  back home, only admitting his mistake when he got caught. 

Watch more on CBS17:

After claiming he was “trying to lead by example” and saying “just wear the mask out of respect,” Tillis broke his own advice to fit in with members of his own party who were disregarding all safety protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The fi-masko demonstrates exactly why North Carolinians don’t trust him. He says one thing and does another. As the Huffington Post wrote, “Tillis insisted in his statement…that he ‘can accept responsibility for my actions’ — apparently as opposed to acting responsibly.” 

It is clear Tillis is a weak politician, who will do anything to preserve his political standing. In this case, that meant that he threw all safety precautions to the wind just because [h]ad he masked up Trump would have probably ridiculed him from the stage for being weak.” 

Here’s what they’re saying: 

WBTV: Senator Tillis Apologizes For Not Wearing Mask At RNC

Associated Press: Tillis apologizes for failing to keep mask on at White House

  • Tillis’ campaign tweeted a picture of the first-term senator wearing a mask on the South Lawn of the White House on Thursday night before Trump’s speech. But other media outlets later showed images of the crowd during the speech. There sat Tillis within the tightly packed, largely unmasked crowd, also not wearing a mask.
  • “When it comes time to choose between his political career and his principles, Tillis chose what’s best for himself,” state Democratic Party spokesperson Robert Howard said in a news release. “Sen. Tillis criticizing others while not following his own words is a perfect encapsulation of why North Carolinians don’t trust Tillis, and why he’ll be out of office this fall.”

WXII: Senator Tillis “Fell Short” Of His Own Standards By Not Keeping His Face Mask On

News & Observer: Maskless At Trump Acceptance Speech, Tillis Says: ‘I Fell Short Of My Own Standard’

  • The Cunningham campaign used the incident to buttress its claims that Tillis is not willing to stand up to members of his own party, including Trump — a central theme of its attacks against Tillis. A spokeswoman called it “blatant hypocrisy.”
  • “Sen. Thom Tillis criticized folks for not wearing masks, until Washington Republicans were the culprits. His attendance last night shows North Carolinians that the rules don’t apply to his colleagues in Washington — and that his talk about fighting this pandemic is just that: talk,” Cunningham wrote in a tweet Friday morning.

Greensboro News & Record Front Page:

Huffington Post: GOP Senator Now Sorry For Not Wearing A Face Mask At Trump’s RNC White House Speech

  • Ditching the mask was particularly awkward for Tillis, who has repeatedly urged his constituents to wear face masks to help stem the spread of COVID-19.
  • Tillis was photographed without a mask in the middle of the packed crowd and had a bad case of morning-after regrets.
  • Tillis insisted in his statement that the difference between him and Cunningham is that he “can accept responsibility for my actions” — apparently as opposed to acting responsibly.
  • Cunningham fired back in a tweet: “Sen. Thom Tillis criticized folks for not wearing masks until Washington Republicans were the culprits. His attendance last night shows North Carolinians that the rules don’t apply to his colleagues in Washington — and that his talk about fighting this pandemic is just that: talk.” 

ABC11: Cal Cunningham Calls Out Senator Tillis For His Double Standard On Masks

American Independent: GOP Senator Spotted Without Mask At Convention After Urging People To Wear Them

  • But not wearing a mask in the midst of a crowd of people who traveled from across the country to attend the convention violates directives Tillis has given his own constituents.
  • The day before the acceptance speech, Tillis sent out an email saying that “wearing a facial covering not only helps saves lives, it will also help save jobs,” and that wearing a mask is “about looking out for our neighbors in our communities.”

WSOC: Senator Tillis Captured Without A Face Covering & Sitting Side By Side With Large Crowd

Politico: I Fell Short On Mask Wearing At RNC

  • Tillis (R-N.C.) has been a vocal proponent of wearing masks to prevent the spread of coronavirus and posted a picture of himself as one of the few people wearing one during President Donald Trump’s keynote speech Thursday night. But he was later spotted with his mask off in the tightly pack crowd on the White House South Lawn.
  • Tillis’ zeal for enforcing masks has landed him in hot water in the past. The North Carolina Republican, who is facing a tough reelection bid, was criticized last month after suggesting that Hispanic people wear masks less than others and said: “Just wear the mask out of respect.”
  • Former North Carolina state Sen. Cal Cunningham, a Democratic challenger for Tillis’ Senate seat, called out the Republican lawmaker not telling those around him to cover their faces as a double standard.

Axios: Sen. Thom Tillis Says He “Fell Short” By Not Wearing Mask At Trump’s RNC Speech

  • Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) in a statement Friday said he “fell short of [his] own standard,” by choosing not to wear a face mask at President Trump’s Republican National Convention acceptance speech on Thursday night.
  • Why it matters: Former North Carolina state Sen. Cal Cunningham, the Democratic nominee to challenge Tillis for his seat in November, accused his opponent of hypocrisy for stressing the importance of wearing a mask, but foregoing any face covering during Trump’s speech.

Daily Beast: GOP Senator Thom Tillis Says He Regrets Maskless Night At Trump’s RNC

  • Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) issued a statement on Friday expressing regret for not taking adequate precautions against COVID-19 after he was caught on camera not wearing a mask in the tightly packed crowd of nearly 2,000 people during President Donald Trump’s RNC speech the night before.
  • In response, Cunningham tweeted, “Sen. Thom Tillis criticized folks for not wearing masks, until Washington Republicans were the culprits. His attendance last night shows North Carolinians that the rules don’t apply to his colleagues in Washington—and that his talk about fighting this pandemic is just that: talk.”

The Hill: Tillis Says He Fell Short By Not Wearing Mask For Trump Speech

  • Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) said Friday he “fell short” of his own standard when he did not wear a face mask at the White House for President Trump’s speech accepting the GOP nomination for reelection.
  • Critics highlighted past remarks from the senator saying that “folks who are not wearing masks are really COVID’s best friend.”
  • “This is blatant hypocrisy from Senator Tillis,” said Kate Frauenfelder, a spokeswoman for Cunningham’s campaign. “His actions last night prove that his words were just political bluster, only to be used when it helps him politically but thrown to the wind when it means standing up to his own party.”

Washington Post: After The Convention, Vulnerable GOP Senators Have Little Control Over Their Fates

  • Tillis, in particular, is close enough to Trump that he may have exposed himself to covid-19 to demonstrate it; he attended Trump’s convention speech and, like almost everyone else in the closely packed audience, didn’t wear a mask. Tillis subsequently issued a sort-of apology for this, but it’s understandable why he did it: Had he masked up, Trump would have probably ridiculed him from the stage for being weak.