Charlotte, N.C. — Richard Burr made headlines Monday when CNN published recording of a private event in which Burr suggests he would like to see a bullseye on Hillary Clinton’s face – a comment for which he has apologized.
But something else Burr said in the tape deserves some attention.
I don’t tell my staff where I’m going the last three weeks. It ended up being two and a half this time. And they want me to go be in front of the TV camera or in front of a reporter. But you know, that doesn’t work too well with me right now. That just comes up with a negative story, gives them the ability to spin something good about her and say something bad about me. What people respond to is when Brooke [Burr’s wife] and I show up at the early vote line, in a town where nobody knows there. And in 10 minutes we can work 75 people in the line. And everybody in the town will know about it … we don’t hand out campaign literature, but we’ve found out over the years is that at the end of the day everybody knows that we were there.
He notes at the top, “this drives my staff crazy.”
A spokesman for Burr’s campaign declined to comment on the veracity of that statement. But a North Carolina Republican who worked with Burr in the past says this is something Burr has done on past campaigns.
It’s worth noting some Republicans have been critical of Burr for campaigning the way he has in past cycles, since very few things about this campaign season have adhered to past norms. Burr likes to hold onto his money and hold off spending until around Labor Day, and in August, Republicans expressed frustration that he hadn’t begun spending earlier to define his opponent, former state assemblywoman Deborah Ross. Until the end of the summer, few people had particularly expected this race to become competitive. Ross was not necessarily a top recruit, and in recent weeks, Republican ads have attacked her for some of the things she did while working for the ACLU. Some felt Burr could have put away the race and saved Republicans some money if he’d begun spending to attack her earlier.
I’m in North Carolina right now, working on a piece about this Senate race, which has turned into a marquee race that is among the few races that will likely determine the Senate majority. And trying to nail down a time and place to see Burr on the campaign trail has indeed been a challenge over the past several days.
But we’ve sorted things out. Shortly after Eliana tweeted about my struggle to pin down the Senator’s campaign schedule, his staff gave me an exact time and location for a campaign event on Thursday.