The GOP outside group American Crossroads is officially getting involved in North Carolina's GOP Senate primary, launching ads to back North Carolina Assembly Speaker Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisGOP senators unveil bill designating Taliban as terrorist organization Without major changes, more Americans could be victims of online crime How to fix the semiconductor chip shortage (it's more than manufacturing) MORE (R) over his Republican opponents.
Tillis, the establishment favorite, is facing Tea Party favorite Dr. Greg Brannon (R), Rev. Mark Harris (R) and a number of other Republicans vying for the nomination to face Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.).
The ad campaign is Crossroads's second foray into a GOP primary in recent weeks, as it seeks to back candidates it views are more electable in general elections. Crossroads is also airing ads touting Alaska Senate candidate Dan Sullivan (R). The Hill reported last week that Crossroads was buying airtime in North Carolina to back Tillis.
Polls have been all over the place, but he hasn't topped the 40 percent needed to win the primary without a runoff in any of them.
The first ad attacks Hagan and President Obama on ObamaCare before calling Tillis "true to our values."
The ads are being backed by $1.1 million and will run in Charlotte and Raleigh over the next month, ahead of North Carolina's early May primary.
"It's clear to us that Thom Tillis has the experience, conservative principles and passion to clean up the mess that President Obama and Senator Hagan are making in Washington. Speaker Tillis has been an architect of conservative change in North Carolina and he’ll be a leader for North Carolina values in the U.S. Senate," said American Crossroads President and CEO Steven Law.
Hagan's campaign shot back, attacking Crossroads founder Karl Rove.
"It's pretty unbelievable for Karl Rove to spend over a million dollars to praise Thom Tillis' 'values,' which as we saw last year include giving a tax cut to the wealthy while 80 percent of North Carolina families pay more, refusing to raise teacher pay and cutting almost $500 million from public education," Hagan spokeswoman Sadie Weiner said in a statement.
This post was updated at 12:20 p.m.