The Political Beat: Ted Budd’s exclusive interview with Ch. 9

CHARLOTTE — North Carolina’s U.S. Senate race is one of the closest midterm contests in the country.

Ted Budd, a congressman representing the state’s 13th District in the U.S. House since 2017, is the Republican Party’s candidate to keep its seat in the Senate.

The Political Beat’s Hunter Sáenz sat down with Budd before a campaign event in Concord earlier this month. If elected, Budd said three issues would be his focus to help North Carolinians: inflation, crime and education.

“I want to make (voters’) lives better, if they have children -- for their children, the next generation and everything I’m doing, it’s to make lives better in North Carolina,” he said.

The open seat comes after Sen. Richard Burr announced he’d retire at the end of his term. Budd is challenged by Democrat Cheri Beasley, a former chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court.

Budd, who’s been representing North Carolina since 2017, has campaigned across the state ahead of Election Day. He says voters are most concerned about inflation.

“They aren’t talking about it in any academic sense -- they’re talking about, ‘Is it groceries this week or are they going to pay the power bill?’” Budd said. “Or just a month ago, they were saying, ‘Am I going to buy my kids back-to-school clothes?’ So, it’s real ‘How do I afford life?’ kind of questions.”

He said spending from the Biden administration and Democrats in congress is leading to too much money chasing too few goods.

“We have to stop spending, we have to stop overregulating, we have to have more energy, more energy independence,” he said. “That doesn’t just help with inflation, it makes us more secure. Not just here in the U.S., but internationally.”

In 2020, Budd voted not to certify election results in Pennsylvania and Arizona, citing concern from voters in North Carolina and saying he wanted to see more debate.

He said the ensuing Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capital was a “very, very bad day.”

Budd also backs a bill from South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham that would tighten abortion restrictions nationwide.

“I’ve always been very consistent about being pro-life and protecting the health and the life of the mother, so, that’s what I want to protect and I’ve been clear on that,” Budd told Channel 9. He said abortion is a human rights issue that includes the life of the child.

“We need to think about this broadly and I think we need to make sure they aren’t landing in an extreme position, which is abortion at any time,” Budd said.

>>> Watch the Political Beat’s full interview with Rep. Ted Budd in the video at the top of this page.

Channel 9′s Joe Bruno sat down with Beasley for a full interview on last week’s Political Beat. Find the full coverage here.

(WATCH BELOW: Senate nominees Beasley, Budd parry over abortion, inflation in debate)

Hunter Sáenz

Hunter Sáenz, wsoctv.com

Hunter is a reporter for Channel 9.