You would think that after Mitt Romney’s 47% remark defined him as an elitist with disdain for half of the country that Republican candidates would be vigilant about not making generalities about the electorate. But you would be wrong. And here in North Carolina, it’s especially bad.

For most of his term, Pat McCrory has blamed criticism of his misstatements and missteps on nefarious outside groups. In fact, these outside groups are people like teachers who got no pay raise, parents who watch their kids go to understaffed classrooms, African-Americans who believe Republicans are trying to suppress their vote, college students who think the same thing and also bemoan the cuts in higher education, women who are being denied access to health care, unemployed victims of the recession who lost their benefits despite the lack of jobs and the working poor who will pay more taxes because of the elimination the Earned Income Tax Credit.

And now Thom Tillis has weighed in. He doesn’t think they’re outside groups. He thinks they are whiners and losers. In an interview with Politico, Tillis said, “I think for the most part, what I see from the folks who are opposing our agenda is whining coming from losers.”

Somebody in the ranks of the GOP consulting class needs to get a clue. McCrory may be harder to handle. He’s a loose cannon with no self-awareness, a tin ear and not enough gray matter, but Thom Tillis is a different story. He’s supposed to be a top-tier candidate for U. S. Senate.

Why he would even mention his critics is beyond me. If he’s going to talk about the legislature, he should be putting a positive spin on the legislation that came out under his leadership, not criticizing the people who got screwed by it. And I lay much of the blame on whoever is responsible for prepping him to talk to the press.

Right now, we’re a country divided looking for leaders who can bring us together and who will try to fix the dysfunctional federal government. Instead, Thom Tillis looks like an insider politician with an us-against-them mentality. And the “them” in his equation is a large segment of North Carolina’s population. He would be wise to try to woo them instead of insult them.

Thomas Mills is the founder and publisher of PoliticsNC.com. Before beginning PoliticsNC, Thomas spent twenty years as a political and public affairs consultant. Learn more >

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