Rep. Renee EllmersRenee EllmersClay Aiken podcast looks for political balance North Carolina ruling could cost GOP House seats Renee Ellmers announces bid for North Carolina lieutenant governor MORE (R-N.C.) on Tuesday commented on a woman’s weight during an exchange caught on video.
“You’re eating a little too much pork barbeque,” Ellmers said in Dunn, N.C., according to CBS’s local affiliate. "Whoo!”
CBS’s local affiliate identified the woman as Maggie Sandrock, former chairwoman of the Harnett County Republican Party who once supported Ellmers but is backing her opponent this cycle. Shortly after the video clip went viral, Ellmers lost her primary.
“Typical Renee,” Sandrock said when asked about Ellmers’s remarks. "She has become a mean girl on steroids, in my view.”
Ellmers doubled down during a follow-up interview with CBS’s local affiliate, noting that Sandrock may have put on some pounds.
“I know her,” she said when asked about her relationship with Sandrock. "I think she lives in Lillington, she’s a part of the Republican Party. She’s gained some weight. Yeah, she’s put on a little weight.”
CBS’s local affiliate said Sandrock worked on Ellmers’s last two congressional campaigns but now supports Rep. George Holding (R-N.C.).
Ellmers and Holding are running against one another for a seat representing North Carolina’s 2nd Congressional District after lines there were redrawn.
Sandrock said she does not take kindly to Ellmers’s remarks about her personal appearance, despite their past relationship.
“I would consider her a friend, but certainly not a good friend,” she said. "Good friends don’t tell you you’re fat, or getting fat.
“They may say, ‘Everything going well Maggie? You look a little stressed out.' They don’t say, ‘Too much pork barbeque Maggie.’”
Ellmers was competing with Holder and two-time Senate candidate Greg Brannon in a GOP Senate primary Tuesday.
Americans for Prosperity, a group backed by billioniares David and Charles Koch, announced last week it is funding a six-figure attack against Ellmers’s reelection.
The group’s decision is the first time the Koch network has ever opposed a sitting GOP lawmaker in a primary fight. Ellmers is three-time incumbent.