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View from the Hill

Senator, former presidential candidate John McCain campaigns for Tillis in Cary

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., known best for his 2008 presidential campaign against
Barack Obama, joined North Carolina Republican Sen. Richard Burr in Cary on Wednesday to campaign for U.S. Senate hopeful Thom Tillis.

“We a long way to go, and I’m convinced Thom Tillis understands this,” McCain said to a packed room at the GOP’s Cary Victory Office.

McCain spoke about Tillis’ commitment to the people of North Carolina and his track record as Speaker of the N.C. House.

“I’m here because I believe in Thom Tillis. He has the knowledge and background. Sen. Burr needs a partner in the Senate who doesn’t cancel out his vote,” McCain said.

Tillis, who is challenging incumbent Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan in the midterm election, is slightly behind in the polls, but Burr emphasized that there is enough time left to turn things around.

“There’s less than three weeks left but there’s enough time to invest in the race — financially, your time, your effort,” he said.

Both McCain and Burr called upon the attendees to reach out to all of their contacts and encourage people to go to the polls. They said the outcome would likely come down to voter turnout.

The UNC College Republicans attended the event to support the party leaders and Tillis’ campaign.

“It's great to see Republican leaders advocating for leaders who they think would do a great job,” said Kathryn Walker, president of the College Republicans.

McCain also criticized the Obama administration’s response to the global Ebola situation and the rise of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.

McCain said President Obama should be speaking publicly about the Ebola crisis from the Oval Office to let Americans know who is in charge and assure them that there is a plan of action.

There have been calls to ban travel from West Africa for the time being, but Burr said that while reassessing a travel ban is a rational thing to do, there might be other ways to prevent the transmission of Ebola.

“Other have come up with different things, like holding a visa that someone has and having them book their flight three weeks in advance. That gives us the 21 days we need, so I think there may be other ways to do it,” he said.

McCain also promised the crowd that once Tillis is elected as the 57th Republican senator, they will “replace and repeal Obamacare.”

“If we have a majority in the House and a majority in the Senate, I guarantee we will hold hearings. We will pass legislation. We will repeal Obamacare. We will bring tax dollars home. We will reform the tax code. We will restore the strength of the United States, and that is why this election is of the utmost importance,” McCain said.

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