Budd To No-Show Again, Hide From Voters at Senate Debate

Congressman Cowers Behind DC Dollars

High Point – For the fourth time, former Gov. Pat McCrory will participate tonight at a US Senate debate.  And for the fourth time, Congressman Ted Budd will display a total lack of political courage by refusing to show up, choosing instead to hide behind the special interest dollars of his DC backers.

New questions have emerged this week in Budd’s relationship with billionaire socialist George Soros, who funds pro-abortion causes and far-left candidates across the world.  Budd has previously lied about his past connection to Soros.  But now, documents show a much deeper connection that Budd refuses to comment on.

In the fourth and final debate, two things will be clear:  that Gov. McCrory is the only candidate prepared to take on the Democrats and win in November, and a nomination of Congressman Budd – who is unable and unwilling to debate Republicans or Democrats – will cost Republicans this Senate seat and potentially the Senate majority.


Budd No-Shows Again at Debate, McCrory Exposes Budd Lies

Raleigh – A familiar scene played out in Raleigh on Wednesday night at the third US Senate debate in North Carolina:  Ted Budd hid from the voters while former Gov. Pat McCrory laid out a clear vision for his priorities as a US Senator and exposed the lies of the Budd campaign.

For the third straight time, Budd refused to participate in the debate, choosing instead to hide behind the DC special interest group bankrolling his deceptively false campaign.  Budd continues to prove that he is a weak candidate who is unprepared to launch a winning campaign against a Democrat opponent in November, and his nomination would imperil the seat for Republicans in the fall.

“While Pat McCrory set out a clear vision for saving the American Dream, Ted Budd once again insulted NC voters by failing to show up, opting instead to hide behind the DC special interest group trying to buy this seat.  Gov. McCrory showed tonight that he is the only candidate prepared to take on the Democrats in November.  A Ted Budd nomination would put our entire Senate Majority at risk.” – Jordan Shaw, McCrory Advisor, commented.

Ted Budd Is Clear Loser in 2nd US Senate Debate

Tonight Congressman Ted Budd was the clear loser in the 2nd US Senate debate, which Budd skipped to attend a PAC fundraiser instead, in an effort to hide from the voters and his fellow candidates.  Former Gov. Pat McCrory launched numerous attacks against Budd, focusing on his refusal to show up, Budd’s pro-Russia voting record, and his bought-and-paid-for status as a Washington DC insider.

“Budd not only didn’t show up to debate tonight, he didn’t show up to vote for Russian sanctions,” McCrory said during the debate.  “Both Biden and Budd have been reckless in their comments” about Russia and Ukraine.

“It’s clear tonight that there was one clear loser in this debate:  Ted Budd,” said McCrory advisor Jordan Shaw.  “The stakes have been raised about Ted Budd’s credibility as a candidate, which is in serious question after tonight’s debate.”

McCrory Launches Digital Ad Ahead of Budd-Cawthorn Rally

Charlotte, NC – Earlier today, US Senate candidate and former Gov. Pat McCrory launched a digital ad in advance of this weekend’s Budd-Cawthorn rally, pointing out the unelectable similarities between the two Congressmen who will be campaigning together on Saturday.  The video focuses on damaging comments made by both men on various issues, including the January 6th riots and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The ad, part of a five-figure digital buy across North Carolina, closes with the key implication of Ted Budd’s record, associations, and previous comments:  that a Budd nomination would cost North Carolina Republicans their U.S. Senate seat.

View the ad here:

Budd Has “No Regrets” Over Putin Praise as His Collapse Continues

Charlotte – Another week has produced another round of dreadful headlines for the flailing campaign of Congressman Budd.  For the first time in three weeks, Budd spoke to two journalists on-the-record, and predictably made huge gaffs in both interviews.  It is astonishingly clear that Congressman Budd is not ready to be Senator Budd, and his nomination would imperil the US Senate seat in North Carolina for the GOP.  Here’s a recap of this week’s headlines:


Budd discusses campaign after visiting area, High Point Enterprise, March 24, 2022

Republican Rep. Ted Budd, who’s running for the Senate in a crowded GOP primary, said he has no regrets about his comments over the Russian invasion of Ukraine or Russian President Vladimir Putin as his campaign opponents try to paint him as out of touch on the issue.





NC GOP’s US Senate primary turns personal as Budd, Walker tangle for Trump base, WRAL, March 22, 2022

“…The tension between the two candidates and Budd’s lack of visibility on the campaign trail in recent months has in turn helped former Gov. Pat McCrory maintain what political scientists and conservative polls view as a slim lead.

…Budd has been less visible on the campaign trail than his opponents…On Jan. 25, Walker and McCrory posed for a photo at an event in Monroe with an empty chair between the two of them to represent Budd’s absence.

… Michael Bitzer, a Catawba College political scientist, said Budd could benefit from being more active on the campaign trail. “Skipping debates is not a way to increase your opportunities to meet and work with the voters who are going to be deciding your candidate’s fate,” Bitzer said…”


NC GOP’s US Senate primary turns personal as Budd, Walker tangle for Trump base, WRAL, March 22, 2022

“…But the former president has since expressed doubts about Budd’s prospects. At a fundraiser in New Orleans this month, Trump turned to state GOP Chairman Michael Whatley and asked him how Budd was doing and encouraged the state party to get Walker out of the race.”

But at a Wake County GOP event last week, Trump shared a pre-recorded message to those in attendance in which he signaled some doubts about candidates he’s endorsed. “Your candidates are incredible, most of whom I’ve endorsed,” Trump said. “Hopefully I’ve done the right ones, but I think I have.”


Trump rescinds Brooks endorsement in Senate race in Alabama, ABC News, March 23, 2022

“In North Carolina, Trump’s Senate pick, Rep. Ted Budd, has failed to make a splash…”

The biggest obstacle Republicans face in the battle for the Senate, CNN, March 22, 2022

“In North Carolina, the Trump-endorsed Ted Budd hasn’t vaulted to the front of the primary pack as expected, Budd was the target of a recent ad from GOP rival Pat McCrory accusing him of being “friendly” toward Russia”
He’ll draw a crowd, but will Trump help his chosen candidates?, Saporta Report, March 21, 2022

“In North Carolina’s Senate race, a couple of recent polls have shown former Gov. Pat McCrory with a double-digit lead over Trump’s candidate, U.S. Rep. Ted Budd…If Budd doesn’t pick up traction soon, you have to wonder if Trump might start talking about changing horses in that race as well.”

After polls show Brooks’ slide in Senate race, Trump rescinds endorsement, Alabama Daily News, March 24, 2022

“…In North Carolina, Trump’s Senate pick, Rep. Ted Budd, has failed to make a splash.”


Congressman Continues to Hide from Media to Avoid Answering Questions on Putin

Charlotte – Seventeen days ago, sitting Congressman and US Senate candidate Ted Budd filed for the US Senate and tried to avoid the media in doing so. Unfortunately for Budd, one journalist was there to ask Budd what he thought of Vladimir Putin. Budd responded by calling Putin “very intelligent”…twice.

That interview, coupled with a Fox News appearance in which Budd excused Putin’s invasion and subsequent investigations into Budd’s “friendly toward Russia” voting record, has led to the total collapse of the Budd campaign played out in real-time over the last three weeks.

A constant flood of national and in-state stories has detailed the rapid decline of the campaign due to Budd’s pro-Putin comments. The McCrory campaign’s first ad has shifted the entire narrative of the campaign. Polling has shown Budd in a free-fall. And Budd is adding to that collapse by hiding from North Carolina journalists, refusing to answer their questions or sit for any in-state interviews since the February 28th interview at his filing.

“US Senators don’t get to hide from the voters, run from the media, avoid debates, and refuse to answer tough questions,” said McCrory strategist Jordan Shaw. “They also don’t get to compliment our enemies or call Putin ‘intelligent’ while he’s killing women and children.  Budd’s ‘friendly toward Russia’ voting record, reckless Putin-praising statements, and unwillingness to answer questions prove that he’s not ready to win this race or be a US Senator.” While Budd is trying to hide behind tens of millions of dollars from his DC funders, journalists should make every effort to find him in the halls of Congress and ask him the tough questions he’s trying so hard to avoid.


Charlotte – US Senate candidate and former Gov. Pat McCrory released his first television ad this week, and it made headlines across the nation.  The ad contrasts Congressman Budd’s praise and excuses for Putin and his pro-Russia voting record with Gov. McCrory’s clear message that he doesn’t compliment our enemies.

The ad and the fallout from it have led to a national realization that the Budd campaign is collapsing in real-time.  And while President Biden, Vice President Harris, and other DC insiders like Congressman Budd equivocate on Russia, Gov. McCrory is leading a national discussion on the importance of standing up for our allies in Ukraine and condemning Putin’s murderous invasion.

Here is a sampling of what is being said about Budd’s collapse this week:

Politico: Trump’s man in North Carolina struggles in Senate primary

Washington Post: N.C. GOP Senate candidate launches ad accusing primary rival of supporting Putin

The Hill: GOP Senate candidate accuses Trump-backed GOP challenger of supporting Putin

CBS 17: McCrory calls out rival Budd on Putin comments in new campaign ad

CNNNorth Carolina GOP Senate hopeful says Trump-backed primary rival ‘excused’ Putin’s actions

Carolina Journal: McCrory shells Budd on Putin, Russia

MEMO: A New, Defining Contrast In North Carolina’s Pivotal US Senate Race

To: Interested Parties

From: Paul Shumaker, General Consultant at the Pat McCrory Committee

DateMarch 9th, 2022

Subject: MEMO: A New, Defining Contrast In North Carolina’s Pivotal US Senate Race

A new, unanticipated issue set – Russia’s attack on Ukraine – is overwhelming voters with wall-to-wall coverage and far-reaching impacts. The US Senate race in North Carolina is emerging at the forefront of the domestic political implications of this war, with Ted Budd’s serious vulnerabilities on the issue coming to light in a new television ad airing statewide. After a bombshell report detailing Budd’s “Friendly Towards Russia” voting record and Budd praising Putin, calling him “very intelligent,” the Pat McCrory Committee today released their first television ad, contrasting McCrory’s record of standing his ground with Budd’s history of pro-Russia votes and statements.

Ted Budd’s pro-Russia voting record and public statements are not only deeply at odds with North Carolina General Election voters but also core-based GOP primary voters. The ad shows a stark difference between a candidate who can win a tough General Election in North Carolina, Pat McCrory, and a candidate, Ted Budd, who will see his support vanish from both Republicans and Independents with whom this issue will resonate.

Meanwhile, McCrory has a strong record of standing his ground and has repeatedly called for corporations to boycott Russia, just as McCrory stood his ground when he was Governor of North Carolina.

After months of unanswered attack ads from a DC outside group, totaling millions of dollars in negative advertising against McCrory, this ad is the first time the McCrory campaign will answer on television.

Politico wrote about the ad this morning in a piece entitled Trump’s man in North Carolina struggles in Senate primarywhich analyzed the potential impact of this ad and other North Carolina political and electoral dynamics. It recognized that Budd is struggling to gain traction, raising concerns among his powerful backers about his prospects in a race that is key to control of the Senate.” The piece further remarked on Budd’s lagging fundraising and trailing polls, even despite the millions in unanswered ads. It also noted new polling that showed that McCrory has maintained a strong lead across the board.

The hard-hitting ad, produced by nationally-leading Republican media firm OnMessage, will air statewide for North Carolina Republican voters, in an initial media buy seeking to quickly position this issue at the forefront of the race.

With 14 candidates on the Republican ballot, McCrory is the only candidate suited to win the primary election outright, especially given that only a 30% threshold is needed to avoid a runoff election. Governor McCrory has consistently polled at or above that threshold while Ted Budd has failed to gain traction despite over 10 million dollars in DC special interest spending on his behalf.

With less than ten weeks to go before the May 17th primary, Governor McCrory is well-positioned given his statewide institutional identity. Of all the campaign issues and subsequent television ads I have seen that have a strong electoral impact in North Carolina Senate Primaries, the Budd-Putin issue is among the most potent. I expect it to steeply elevate McCrory above the fray while negatively defining Ted Budd, who still remains an unknown candidate to a majority of North Carolina Republicans.

North Carolina is no longer the traditional red state of the past. In 2020, North Carolina was decided by less than 100,000 votes after being the most expensive US Senate race in the nation. Georgia was at the time a sleeper race that no one was watching. If anyone thinks that North Carolina is a lock with any Republican nominee, they are wrong. There is a good chance that North Carolina will become the next Georgia to fall into Democratic hands.

In North Carolina’s 2020 US Senate, my client, US Senator Thom Tillis, was able to win despite a GOP voter erosion trend of nearly 200,000 votes in the state’s suburban/urban areas. While Washington DC insiders were writing off Tillis in late October, he was able to counter the trend due to the Cunningham scandal. In Georgia, that was not the case, and the Democrats are keenly aware that they can make this state the next Georgia by consolidating all resources behind one candidate in the primary field and hoping that Republicans nominate a rural-based candidate inconsistent with the ever-growing suburbs of the Charlotte and Raleigh metro regions.

North Carolina is the swingiest of all swing states and Ted Budd’s sympathy for Russia and Putin is a position that Democrats will look to exploit with soft-Republican voters and Independents in the suburbs. With the new McCrory ad, this race has also quickly shaped up to be among the most pivotal in the nation in 2022. The only pathway to a Republican Majority in the US Senate is by Pat McCrory winning the nomination.


Governor McCrory Wins & Ted Budd Loses First US Senate Debate

Fresh off of his official campaign filing for office yesterday, Governor Pat McCrory swept the field in the first official Senate debate of the race hosted by the John Locke Foundation in Raleigh. 

Ted Budd’s failure to show up for the debate, coupled with the relentless attack from all the candidates on Budd’s ties to George Soros, contrasted strongly to McCrory’s commitment to fixing the problems created by the Washington insiders.  The McCrory Campaign issued the following statement: 

“While Ted Budd no-showed at today’s debate, Pat McCrory showed the voters and the Washington insiders that he is the only serious candidate who can articulate a vision for saving the American Dream, unite the Republican Party, and win in November.”

“Friendly Toward Russia” Budd Won’t Dispute that Putin is a Genius

Charlotte – A bombshell story printed in today’s News & Observer and Charlotte Observer detailed Congressman Ted Budd’s history of “friendly toward Russia” votes, one day after he was roundly criticized for refusing to condemn Vladimir Putin as he launches a deadly invasion of Ukraine.  In the story, Budd wouldn’t dispute a description of Putin as a genius.

The report shows that as a member of Congress, Budd consistently voted against Russian sanctions on multiple occasions, even despite overwhelmingly bipartisan support for the bills:

  • “In the past, Budd’s votes in Congress have been friendly toward Russia. He has voted against Russian energy sanctions and a bill that called on the G7 to ban Russia from its summits until it respects the territorial lines of Ukraine.”

“Congressman Budd’s latest failure to stand up to Vladimir Putin should come as no surprise given his ‘friendly toward Russia’ voting record,” said former Gov. Pat McCrory. “Putin is a murderous, evil dictator bent on reinstating what President Reagan called the ‘Evil Empire,’  and Budd’s continued refusal to condemn praises for Putin makes it clear that he cannot represent the Republican Party in this US Senate race.  We already have a president that is too weak to stand up to Russia with sanctions that would have prevented this invasion, we don’t need a Senator who will follow suit.”

Budd also refused to show up for votes on legislation that provided hard-hitting Russian sanctions and supported Ukrainian energy independence (Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act), as well as on a bill providing for a tough NATO response to Russia (NATO Support Act).

“There’s not only a pro-Putin pattern with Congressman Budd, but there is a deeply troubling pattern of not showing up,” said McCrory.  “He doesn’t show up for debates, interviews, or tough questions.  And he won’t show up to do something as simple as vote against Russia.  It’s disgraceful and is not in line with what we need from a US Senate candidate from North Carolina.”