Caught on Tape: Tea Party U.S. Senate Candidate Says GOP Must ‘Divide and Conquer’ By Pitting the Sick and Invalids against the Poor

Despite what you read, N.C. Assembly Speaker Thom Tillis, who won the primary race in the U.S. Senate election yesterday, is not a Republican “establishment” candidate. Tillis is, in fact, a tea bagger of the first order, per PM Carpenter:

Tillis takes a second, reactionary pew to no man: he opposes a federally mandated minimum wage; he denies the science of climate change; he supported a state constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and further restrictions on a woman’s right to abortion; and of course as a NC prophet of national Republican totalitarianism, he just can’t get enough of voter suppression.

As Tillis kicks off his campaign to unseat Sen. Kay Hagan, a conservative Democrat, he already finds himself mired in controversy after being caught on tape suggesting that, in order to advance its war on the poor, the GOP must turn sick and invalided people who receive disability payments against poor people who rely on government assistance:

THOM TILLIS: What we have to do is find a way to divide and conquer the people who are on assistance. We have to show respect for that woman who has cerebral palsy and had no choice in her condition, that needs help and that we should help. And we need to get those folks to look down at these people who choose to get into a condition that makes them dependent on the government and say, ‘at some point you’re on your own! We may end up taking care of those babies, but we’re not taking care of you.’ And we’ve got to start having that serious discussion. It won’t happen next year. Wrong time. Because it’s going to be politically charged. One of the reasons why I may never run for another elected office is cause some of these things may just get me railroaded out of town. But in 2013 I honestly believe that we have to do it.

Tillis’ comments are, in their own way, even more dastardly than Mitt Romney’s infamous screed against the 47 percent in 2012:

“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it — that that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what. … These are people who pay no income tax. … [M]y job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

One reason the media insists on referring to Tillis as an establishment candidate is that he was endorsed by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. Why would Bush, a liberal Republican by today’s standards, endorse a far right loon like Tillis? Perhaps because he has a personal grudge against Hagan, who is the niece of the late Florida Gov. Lawton “He Coon” Chiles, who defeated Jeb in his first run for governor, in 1994.

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