18 Apr This ad for one NC congressional candidate uses his opponent’s own words against him | Charlotte Observer
A new TV ad for Republican Rep. Robert Pittenger uses his opponent’s own words in an effort to suggest that Mark Harris doesn’t support President Donald Trump.
The ad is the latest in the contentious GOP primary in which each candidate is scrambling to portray himself as the only faithful supporter of Trump and his agenda.
The two Charlotte Republicans are the main GOP contenders in North Carolina’s 9th District, which stretches from Charlotte to Fayetteville. A third Republican, Clarence Goins of Cumberland County, also is running.
Pittenger’s ad is the latest salvo in the war over who supports the president more.
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A narrator says Harris "worked to stop Donald Trump." It then cuts to a recording of Harris saying, "The way to stop Donald Trump…."
The March 2016 recording came from a WBT interview with Harris, who at the time backed Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.
"Coalescing behind Ted Cruz is a way to stop Donald Trump and go into the convention, get our nominee and come out and beat Hillary Clinton in the fall," Harris told WBT.
Asked in the same interview whether he could support Trump were he the nominee, Harris said, "To be honest it’s a very concerning decision that’ll have to be made. … I can’t tell you I feel great about that by any stretch of the imagination."
Reps Robert Pittenger and Richard Hudson tout tax cuts at Charlotte Pipe. McClatchyjmorrill@charlotteobserver.com
Pittenger’s ad quotes Harris saying, "Can’t tell you I feel great about that."
Pittenger said voters "deserve to know what my opponent has said about President Trump and our critical funding for the military."
"While Harris says he supports the President, he attacks the President and myself on our policy victories," Pittenger said in a statement. "My opponent is trying to have it both ways."
Harris spokesman Andy Yates said the ad takes the comments out of context, and fails to say that Pittenger himself supported another primary candidate, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida.
"It’s more of the same tired attacks from Robert Pittenger," Yates said. “Both Congressman Pittenger and Mark Harris made the decision to support Donald Trump after he was the obvious choice of the Republican Party."
1n 2016 Mark Harris lost to Robert Pittenger by 134 votes in the race to be the U.S. Representative in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District. This year Harris trails Pittenger by about 30 points in the polls. John D. Simmonsjsimmons@charlotteobserver.com
The ad also slams Harris for opposing military funding. That refers to last month’s $1.3 trillion spending bill, which included billions for the armed forces. Pittenger voted for the bill. Harris opposed it, calling it "a sad day for our nation."
He criticized the spending which accelerated the growth of the federal debt and deficit. New reports show Pittenger leads Harris in fundraising. Both trail Democrat Dan McCready.
Jim Morrill, 704-358-5059; @jimmorrill