Republican Whacks Harry Reid in New North Carolina Senate Ad

Tillis is a Republican running for Senate in North Carolina. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)

Earlier this week, Senate Majority PAC, a Democratic group, went up with an ad attacking Republican state Speaker Thom Tillis for his connection to former aides who had inappropriate relationships with lobbyists .  

Now, the Tillis campaign is set to go on television with a response ad.  

The 30-second spot, titled “Meddling,” accuses Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., of “trying to fool Republican voters, meddling in our primary to get a weak opponent for Kay Hagan.”  


The North Carolina Senate race is rated Toss-up/Tilt Democrat by Rothenberg Political Report /Roll Call, in part, because of uncertainty in the GOP primary.  

According to a source with the Tillis campaign, the ad will be placed in rotation in a previous, ongoing ad buy, including $554,683 placed from April 14 to May 4.  

Here is the transcript of the ad, produced by OnMessage, Inc.:

“Seen those ads attacking Thom Tillis? They’re false. Tillis fired the staffers. Know who’s paying for the sleazy ads? It’s Harry Reid. Reid’s trying to fool Republican voters, meddling in our primary to get a weak opponent for Kay Hagan. The press says Democrats 'fear Tillis the most.' Tillis brought a conservative revolution to Raleigh. That’s why we need him in Washington. Don’t be fooled by Harry Reid. I’m Thom Tillis and I approved this message.”
Here is the previous Senate Majority PAC ad:  


Local Democratic analyst Thomas Mills wrote that the latest SMP ad was a welcome shift from the previous ads trying to link Tillis with the Koch Brothers.  

“It’s a smart move. Not only does it resonate with GOP primary voters, it begins to define Tillis in general,” Mills wrote . “Nobody, regardless of party affiliation, wants a U.S. Senator with a hint of scandal following him, especially in the state that had to suffer through the John Edwards affair.”  

If the Tillis campaign didn’t think the ad had the potential to do damage, it is unlikely it would have responded so quickly. But it’s interesting that the ad devotes just a few seconds specifically responding to the charge and quickly pivots to Reid and national Democrats.  


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