ByÂ Emily EthridgeÂ , Roll Call
Rep. Mike McIntyre joined several House Democratic colleagues speaking to the North Carolina delegates in Charlotte today. Missing was embattled Rep. Larry Kissell, who was only a few miles away.
Redistricting in North Carolina made both Kissellâ€™s 8th district and McIntyreâ€™s 7th significantly more Republican. But while Kissell is keeping his distance from the Democrats gathering in Charlotte â€” particularly President Barack Obama â€” McIntyre is speaking out.
At the delegation breakfast, McIntyre touted his seniority in the House and took some digs at his Republican opponentâ€™s plans to cut education spending and overhaul Medicare.
McIntyre said state Senator David Rouzer wants to turn Medicare into â€œa voucher systemâ€ and â€œgive seniors a check and say: good luck.â€
Last month, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee began running ads in the district hitting Rouzerâ€™s Medicare stance, and the National Republican Congressional Committee responded in kind.
An NRCC ad knocks McIntyre for voting against vice presidential nominee and House Budget Chairman Paul Ryanâ€™s budget, which would transform Medicare by giving seniors a set amount of money to purchase insurance. The ad says Rouzer would protect Medicare.
McIntyre noted that if he is re-elected, he will be in line to be the second-ranking Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee, and third on the House Armed Services Committee, overseeing areas important to the stateâ€™s economy.
â€œIf my opponent wins, North Carolina loses, because we would go to dead bottom last â€¦ and we canâ€™t stand for that,â€ he said.
McIntyre also emphasized his faith, noting that he is a co-chairman of the Congressional Prayer Caucus and asking the crowd to pray for the countryâ€™s leaders.
McIntyreâ€™s race is the most competitive in the state, and both sides see a path to victory. Although Kissell has eked out close victories in the past two elections, his district is now more Republican and he faces a strong competitor in former Hill aide Richard Hudson.
In the past few months, Kissell has turned away from some of Obamaâ€™s policies which he supported in the past. For example, he voted against a Republican bill to repeal Obamaâ€™s 2010 health care law in January 2011, but supported repeal in July 2012.
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