Hometown paper hammers GOP senator for backing Trump's '$80 million punch to the gut'


North Carolina lost funding for multiple military projects so Trump can use the money for his wall.

Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) was criticized on Thursday by his hometown newspaper, the Charlotte Observer, for allowing Trump to steal money from some of the state's vital institutions for his border wall.

The paper described the move as an "$80 million punch to the gut" and took the senator to task for repeatedly believing Trump's assurances, describing them as a "lesson that Thom Tillis never seems to learn."

Mexico refused to pay for the wall like Trump promised, and Democrats blocked Trump from spending billions of tax dollars on it. So he is now taking cash from previously authorized military spending.

"North Carolina's military bases will lose about $80 million in planned military construction," the Charlotte News Observer reported on Wednesday.

The paper noted that Trump is taking "$40 million for a new battalion complex and ambulatory care center at Camp Lejeune, a previously canceled $32.9 million elementary school at Fort Bragg, and a $6.4 million storage facility for the new KC-46 tanker at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base."

In its editorial, the Observer noted, "The $80 million in N.C. cuts were more than in any other state with a GOP senator facing reelection in 2020."

Tillis won his seat by a slim margin of 1.5 percentage points in 2014. North Carolina is considered a swing state and Trump won it by only 3.6 percentage points in 2016.

The paper pointed out that in February Tillis said he would vote against Trump's stunt of declaring a false "national emergency" that would allow him to use military funds for the wall.

"Three weeks later, he backed down and gave his blessing and vote to the president’s overreach. Now that decision will doubly haunt him," the Observer said.

The episode had several lessons for Tillis, the editorial explained, foremost among them not to trust Trump: "Donald Trump will not hesitate to burn anyone — including people who’ve previously helped him — to get a political victory."

Tillis' decision to stand aside and help Trump backfired for his state, which will now lose millions in funding for key military projects.

The Observer's editorial was immediately able to point out the misfire and its instant fallout for North Carolinians.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.