GOP Senate candidate Ted Budd rips Democrat ‘deceptively running as moderate’ despite defund police ties
Trump-backed Budd criticizes Cheri Beasley for fundraising push with defund the police leader Rep. Cori Bush
Ted Budd, the GOP candidate vying for retiring Republican Sen. Richard Burr’s seat in North Carolina, recently called out his Democratic opponent Cheri Beasley for "deceptively running as a moderate," despite fundraising with staunch "defund the police" supporter, Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo.
Budd spoke to Fox News Digital ahead of a Mecklenburg County Fraternal Order of Police roundtable in Charlotte earlier this month, as the sitting U.S. representative for North Carolina's 13th district continues his visits with law enforcement leaders around the state while campaigning for the upper chamber of Congress.
"It’s so important right now to back to the blue. There's been this big movement of defund the police. It's been hard on the law enforcement. Sometimes it's harder, especially inner-city areas," Budd said during an on-camera interview. "They're having a hard time getting their numbers up, whether it's the sheriff's offices, whether it's the police departments because of the anti-police sentiment. So we have to let the police know that we appreciate them and we support them."
"And to draw a distinction between my opponent, who's deceptively running as a moderate, but she's nothing of the sort," Budd continued. "She has fundraised with Cori Bush, unfortunately, a colleague of mine in Congress who was the leader of the defund the police movement. And, you know, she's defended cop killers, she's thrown out indictments for sex offenders. The list goes on. And so I think people need to understand what we're up against as a state and make sure that they select the right person that makes sure that they have a safe neighborhood to go home to."
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Budd, who received a coveted endorsement from the North Carolina Trooper’s Association, argued that Beasley is in a "desperate place" amid President Biden’s tanking approval rating, and therefore, the Democratic Senate candidate is attempting to distance herself from the White House’s reputation.
"Everything that I do wants to make life better for North Carolinians," Budd told Fox News Digital. "And everything she does is about running away from Joe Biden when we know that everything that she does is about being a rubber stamp for Joe Biden's failed policies."
The Republican said he has already visited all 100 counties in the state and is now circling back, participating in discussions at other police lodges in Union County, Forsyth County and Fayetteville the same weekend.
"People are so welcoming. They want real leadership," Budd said of his statewide travels. "They're tired of the defund police movement. They're tired of the radical left trying to tell them what to do. Parents want a say in their kids’ education, and they realize that the left won't allow that. They're tired of where they're trying to take our country, and they say they want their freedoms back."
Beasley is the first Black woman to serve as Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court. Though she received endorsements from law enforcement groups years ago while on the bench, she partnered in fundraising efforts last year with Bush, a defund the police and Black Lives Matter activist, in what was perceived as a bid to win support from left leaning, socialist members of the Democratic Party.
Budd was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, who campaigned alongside him at a rally in Selma, North Carolina, in April. He had received some criticism from GOP opponents ahead of the primary for steering clear of debates with the North Carolina Republican Party’s stalwarts.
Asked about the recent FBI raid at Mar-a-Lago, Budd said he is focused on the next three months of his own race, though adding that he wants "full transparency" from the Justice Department to ensure that "there's due process involved and make sure there's not some sort of legal favoritism — cherry-picking magistrates that are, you know, anti-Trump — so they can get the result they want."
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"We need transparency, and we need fairness," he said.
In the current cycle, Beasley has so far out-raised Budd by $9.6 million. The Democratic contender raised $15.9 million, compared to the Republican’s $6.3 million, according to the most recent FEC filings.
Beasley raised $7.4 million in the second quarter, compared to Budd’s $2.1 million.
With the Senate currently divided 50-50 along party lines, and Democratic Vice President Kamala Harris holding the deciding vote, the high stakes race in North Carolina to decide on who replaces Burr is expected to receive higher national fanfare approaching the midterm elections in November.
A member of the House Financial Services Committee, Budd condemned the Inflation Reduction Act, which headed to Biden’s desk with no Republican support, as a "deceptively named bill," particularly taking issue with the proposal of using taxpayer money to hire 87,000 more IRS agents.
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"If they can do this to Trump at Mar-a-Lago, then they can do it to these individuals," Budd told Fox News Digital. "I actually put an amendment for this that was rejected by the Democrats, and that amendment was that they would use none of the money for these new IRS agents to go after anyone that makes $400,000 or less. And the Democrats rejected that, meaning that they are all about going after the middle class and lower income folks, those folks that can't afford to lawyer up when the IRS comes looking for them."