Republican state House Speaker Thom Tillis charged that Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) and President Obama do not have a plan to keep the United States safe from Ebola Thursday evening, during the third North Carolina U.S. Senate debate.
“The president and Sen. Hagan have no plan. Ebola is a great threat to our nation,” Tillis said highlighting the recent cases that made it outside of Africa, including the recent Ebola death in Dallas.
“Sen. Hagan, when I saw this threat emerging, I called for a ban,” Tillis continued. “I think it takes courage to say, ‘Folks, we’ve got to get this situation under control until the CDC can convince us that people are not going to come to this nation and threaten our safety and security. Sen. Hagan says that we’re ready, ladies and gentlemen if you’ve been watching the news, we’re not ready.”
Hagan said during the debate that she believes travel restrictions should be part of a larger strategy to fight the virus.
“Travel bans should be part of the overall strategy, but it can’t be the only part. By doing just isolating the flights from those countries, isn’t going to help solve that problem,” Hagan said saying North Carolina hospitals are prepared and highlighting the Obama administration’s recent step to take travelers temperatures at select airports.
The debate Thursday evening in Wilmington focused more on North Carolina-centric issues than the previous debate and included a new face: Libertarian candidate Sean Haugh.
Though more local, the debate did delve into some issues with national implications such as gay marriage, the economy, energy policy and national security issues like ISIS.
Tillis used the issue of national security to revisit Hagan’s numerous absences from Senate Armed Services Committee hearings and the recent revelation that she skipped a classified briefing to attend a cocktail fundraiser in New York City.
“Let’s talk about shameless. Sen. Hagan sits on the Armed Services Committee. Sen. Hagan went to a Park Avenue apartment and had a fundraiser instead of being briefed in a classified briefing,” Tillis said. “That’s shameless. We need a strong policy in the Middle East, we need to not create a vacuum as Sen. Hagan allowed to happen by rubber-stamping President Obama’s policy to withdraw from Iraq too soon.”
Hagan meanwhile claimed Tillis was avoiding telling what strategy he would support to defeat ISIS and attacked Tillis for his own attendance record in the state legislature.
“Speaker Tillis is spineless in this area, he will not tell the American public — he will not tell the men and women on the ground here in North Carolina what he would do,” Hagan said.
Tillis and Hagan spent much of the debate sparring with one another and largely ignored Haugh.