Dr. Mark Harris, the pro-Trump challenger running in the Republican primary in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District, blasted incumbent Rep. Bob Pittenger (R-NC-09) for his vote in favor of the Omnibus spending bill in an interview on Sirius XM’s Breitbart News Sunday.
(You can hear the full interview here:)
Harris, who lost the 2016 GOP primary to Pittenger by a mere 134 votes, told host Matt Boyle, Washington political editor of Breitbart News, and co-host Amanda House, Washington deputy political editor for Breitbart News, that Pittenger’s “support of the Omnibus bill … was just disgraceful.”
Noting that the primary election day is May 8, Harris said, “Early voting starts a week from this coming Thursday. It’s coming down to the final lap.”
“I do think it’s critically important that we have a representative from the 9th District of North Carolina that truly does not only just ‘talk the talk’ but is willing to ‘walk the walk.’ When I look at the kind of votes that Rep. Pittenger is bringing forth with his support of the Omnibus bill, the $1.3 trillion bill, was just disgraceful and in no way lines up with where the 9th District of North Carolina is,” Harris told host Boyle.
“It put the president in a very precarious position,” Harris added.
“I think it important that we have someone that really supports the values of this district, that also can go and support the president’s agenda, and move it forward. This is the time to do it,” he stated.
Host Boyle then asked Harris to provide some details on a story that was published recently in the Raleigh News & Observer: “Pittenger’s Planned Parenthood claim doesn’t tell the full story.”
“Obviously, his support of the bill put $500 million into Planned Parenthood coffers,” Harris explained.
“What is real unique about that is, he’s now coming back and trying to claim that as long as we keep conservatives in control of Health and Human Services, that we don’t have to worry about Planned Parenthood really getting any of that money,” he noted.
“It’s just a false claim,” Harris said, adding:
The News and Observer article … pointed out that the truth of the matter is that in this Omnibus Bill included the funding that will allow taxpayer money go to Planned Parenthood.
They’re just looking to blame somebody.
Are you really willing to admit that you don’t understand the Constitution, because the Constitution says the legislative branch legislates and the executive branch executes.
He’s tying to kick the can over to the executive branch to somehow stop what the legislative branch just voted to do.
“I think the voters of the 9th District are a lot smarter than that and are not going to buy into that line,” Harris noted.
Boyle asked, “What would you do differently than Robert Pittenger?”
“One of the things that the people of North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District can be assured, I would not have voted for that Omnibus Bill,” Harris responded.
“You don’t even see Republicans in the House of Representatives even trying any more,” he noted.
“We all know this 2,232 page bill, none of them read it. Instead, we’re seeing Congressman Pittenger and others bow to an establishment. None of them read it. It was put together by Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, Mitch McConnell, and Paul Ryan,” Harris said.
First elected in 2012, Pittenger has a 90 percent rating in the Heritage Action Scorecard in the current 115th session of Congress, more conservative than the average for Republican members of the House of Representatives, which is 68 percent. The Cook Political Report rates the 9th Congressional District as “Likely Republican” in the 2018 general election.