Political Notebook: Rep. Budd says government is ‘root of all evil,’ assistance makes it rational for people to stay home

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Rep. Ted Budd last week clarified comments he made calling government “the root of all evil.”

Budd is a Republican who currently represents North Carolina’s 13th District, which includes Rowan County. He is seeking election to the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Sen. Richard Burr, who says he won’t seek re-election in 2022.

Budd’s comments were caught on video and posted online July 12 by Laura Windsor, creator of the online political show “The Undercurrent.” In the video, Budd spoke to a small group of people and called the government the “root of all evil” before stating “bad policy” is keeping people at home during the pandemic, even though those individuals are “being very rational” for doing so.

The tweet saw about 62,000 views and hundreds of likes and retweets.

“One of the ways to look at government is the root of all evil,” Budd said in the video. “When the Apostle Paul would say that it’s the love of money, but actually it’s the modern monetary theory in this town, right? And this is the root of all evil. Then you pump $6 trillion into the economy and then now you tell people to stay at home.”

In an email to the Post, a spokesperson for the campaign said Budd’s statement made clear it’s the “false belief that government can spend an endless amount of money with no consequences,” that is the root of the nation’s problems.

“Ted is running for U.S. Senate to reverse this Democratic administration’s reckless tax and spend policies,” Budd’s campaign told the Post.

In the video, Budd also said Milton Friedman, an American economist and statistician best known for his strong belief in free-market capitalism, would say that inflation comes when there is too much money chasing too few goods.

“And so you have all this money chasing goods that don’t yet exist and won’t exist because they aren’t being produced because those producers are told to stay home,” Budd said in the video. “And they’re being very rational by staying at home. I’m not laying blame on them. I’m laying the blame on very bad policy.”

The campaign said “bad policy” refers to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Gov. Roy Cooper’s insistence on paying people more to stay home than to work, and added that such policies pit job creators against the government.

“Ted believes that it’s time for America to get back to work,” the campaign told the Post. “He doesn’t blame someone for not getting a job if big government will pay them more to stay at home. That’s rational. Ted blames the Democratic leaders who insist on keeping bad policies in place that hurt job creators.”

Jackson, Budd lead opponents in cash on hand in 2022 U.S. Senate race

Following the release of a second quarter campaign finance report, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Ted Budd and Democrat Jeff Jackson are leading their respective primary fields with cash on hand.

The second quarter report spans from April 1 to June 30 and shows fundraising efforts from the Republican and Democratic candidates in the 2022 U.S. Senate race. An open seat in North Carolina is set to expire following the end of Sen. Richard Burr’s term.

Budd, who’s been endorsed by former President Donald Trump and a sitting congressman for North Carolina’s 13th district, has raised $700,000 from outside contributions in addition to a $250,000 loan to his campaign. He now has more than $1.7 million in cash on hand, which includes campaign cash left from his U.S. House races.

“No matter how folks feel about career politicians, they start their campaigns with significant name ID and fundraising advantages,” said Jonathan Felts, senior adviser to the Budd campaign. “(Former Gov.) Pat McCrory has the deft touch of a tier-one professional politician when it comes to working over fat cats and raising big dollars at some of the most exclusive venues across North Carolina.”

McCrory, another top GOP candidate, reports raising $1.2 million in the second quarter from nearly 8,000 donors. He announced his candidacy in April, so this quarter is his first. He ends the quarter with $955,369 cash on hand.

In a statement about the FEC second quarter report, the McCrory campaign also took a jab at Budd, calling Budd’s “shockingly weak” fundraising report “especially anemic” given Budd’s previous support from Washington special interests.

“Budd also dipped into his own pockets with a $250,000 personal loan, which he’s done in past campaigns, to cover up his dismal fundraising results,” the McCrory campaign said. “But while he’s always been willing to show his money as a public relations ploy, he’s never been willing to spend it in previous campaigns. All Budd loans have been repaid by his past campaigns.”

The McCrory campaign also said, “Budd’s inability to capitalize on his special interest help is likely due to concerns of Budd’s inconsistent voting record, poor polling numbers and a lack of viability in the general election.”

The Budd campaign said it anticipated taking all of 2021 to close the finance gap with McCrory and is now six months ahead of schedule.

“Momentum matters in politics,” Felts said. “Ted Budd has the big-mo, and it’s looking like Pat McCrory has no-mo.”

In the Democratic field, Jackson, a state senator who represents Mecklenburg County, shows a median contribution of $15 and more than 11,000 individual donors, amounting to a total of $2 million raised for the campaign so far, with just over $700,000 raised during the second quarter. Jackson reported $864,773 cash on hand at the end of the second quarter.

He received no contributions from PACs. The report shows more than 90% of donations came from North Carolinians, while even more were contributions of $100 or less.

In a statement, the Jackson campaign said it was in a strong position heading into the third quarter and said it invested more than $500,000 into its digital campaigning, with $315,000 of that reported in the second quarter.

“Part of a surge of millennial candidates, Jackson is running a wholly different campaign that’s drawing sizable crowds of curious Democrats many months before the primary,” the campaign stated. “Jackson has already held more than 50 town halls across the state and shared several specific policy plans to address issues impacting North Carolinians, including water quality, cannabis and suicide and homelessness in LGBTQ youth.”

Jackson made a stop in Salisbury in May during his “100 counties in 100 days” tour.

Jackson is also an attorney, Afghan war veteran and National Guardsman. Other Democratic challengers at this time include former North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley and former state senator Erica Smith, who lost the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate in 2020 to challenge Republican incumbent Thom Tillis.

Beasley’s second quarter report shows she raised nearly $1.3 million, which is what Jackson raised in his first quarter report. At the close of the quarter, Beasley reports $833,233 cash on hand. A total of $1.2 million comes from individual contributions.

Like Jackson, more than 90% of her donations were $100 or less.

Smith’s second quarter report shows she’s raised a total of $112,955, with $111,000 of that raised in the first quarter and an additional $85,000 in loans to her campaign. She ends the quarter with $55,814 cash on hand.

About Natalie Anderson

Natalie Anderson covers the city of Salisbury, politics and more for the Salisbury Post. She joined the staff in January 2020 after graduating from Louisiana State University, where she was editor of The Reveille newspaper. Email her at natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com or call her at 704-797-4246.

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