Rand Paul Touts Tillis in New Ad From U.S. Chamber of Commerce

The Kentucky senator endorsed Tillis’s opponent in the GOP primary, but now has cut an ad on his behalf for the chamber.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), speaking to students at Howard University in Washington, DC on April 10, 2013
National Journal
Oct. 14, 2014, 2:11 p.m.

Sen. Rand Paul may have en­dorsed Thom Tillis’s op­pon­ent in the GOP North Car­o­lina Sen­ate primary, but now the Ken­tucky Re­pub­lic­an is go­ing to bat for Tillis in a new ad from the U.S. Cham­ber of Com­merce.

The ad, part of a six-fig­ure buy and shared early with Na­tion­al Journ­al, fea­tures Paul fa­cing the cam­era and say­ing that Demo­crat­ic in­cum­bent Kay Hagan’s ac­tions “both­er” him.

“As a phys­i­cian and a sen­at­or, it both­ers me that Kay Hagan doesn’t think you’re smart enough to choose your doc­tor,” Paul says in the ad. “Show Kay Hagan you’re smart enough to choose your doc­tor and your sen­at­or.”

The new ad is Paul’s latest for the cham­ber; all so far have been fo­cused on help­ing GOP Sen­ate can­did­ates avoid los­ing votes to Liber­tari­an can­did­ates in highly com­pet­it­ive races. In North Car­o­lina, Liber­tari­an pizza de­liv­ery­man Sean Haugh is polling just high enough in match­ups of the race that, should he con­tin­ue to gain sup­port, he could po­ten­tially hurt Tillis’s chances of oust­ing Hagan.

Paul doesn’t of­fer up any spe­cif­ic praise of or com­ments about Tillis in the 15-second ad—but as he speaks, a photo of Tillis comes on screen, with text that says, “Vote for Thom Tillis.”

The Cham­ber of Com­merce en­dorsed Tillis’s Sen­ate bid this spring, dur­ing the GOP primary, and went to bat for him against fel­low GOP can­did­ates Greg Bran­non and Mark Har­ris. The cham­ber, along with a hand­ful of oth­er out­side groups, is of­ten cred­ited with help­ing Tillis reach the 40-per­cent threshold ne­ces­sary to avoid a run­off.

And al­though Paul en­dorsed and cam­paigned for Bran­non, a fel­low phys­i­cian and tea-party-aligned can­did­ate in the primary, this is not Paul’s first postprimary for­ay in­to the North Car­o­lina race: Paul went to the state earli­er this month to cam­paign for Tillis.

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