Despite his campaign charge to “Make North Carolina the Nation’s No.1 Military-Friendly State,” gubernatorial candidate Dan Forest is remaining silent amid the Pentagon’s recent announcement that it intends to slash $223 million from the Marine Corps F-35 program to bankroll the president’s wall at the Southern border.
The F-35 program - which builds fighter jets used by many branches of the military - plays a key role in supporting the North Carolina economy. As of 2019, the F-35 program employed over 4,000 jobs at Fleet Readiness Center East, the largest industrial employer in Eastern NC.
Bathroom Bill Advocate Dan Forest Ridiculously Claims “I have plenty of friends from the LGBT community”
In an appearance on a local radio program last Tuesday, North Carolina Republican Dan Forest claimed that he had “plenty of friends from the LGBT community,” despite his lengthy record as an anti-LGBT lawmaker in N.C., including past support of a bill that would have banned people who are transgender from using the bathroom of their choice.
"And I have plenty of friends from the LGBT community,” Forest said on WUNC Radio on Nov. 12. “And so reaching out is certainly a two-way street there. Nobody's reached out to me and said how can we help. But there's never been an antagonistic attitude there. There's never been a negative word spoken. So some people may say that, but they'd never find anything that I've said."
On Sept 25, 2019 -- the same day a bipartisan majority in the U.S. Senate blocked President Trump’s emergency declaration to allocate military funding towards a border wall -- North Carolina gubernatorial candidate Dan Forest emphatically attempted to portray himself as a champion of military families, stating “under a Forest administration, North Carolina won’t just talk about being military friendly. We’re going to prove it.”
But to date, Forest still has not stood up for North Carolina’s military families slated to lose funding to Trump’s border wall, which critics argue is likely to do little to nothing to solve the humanitarian crisis at the Southern border. Forest has previously called a border wall a “top priority” of his campaign.
In a closed-door fundraiser on Tuesday, Paul Newby, a North Carolina Supreme Court Justice endorsed by Lt. Governor Dan Forest, echoed Trump’s line of racist remarks on four U.S. Congresswomen of color, saying “I will buy you a ticket to leave. I mean just leave.”
Newby’s remarks came just one day before Donald Trump’s rally in Greenville, North Carolina, where he was met with chants of “send her back,” in reference to his high-profile attacks on freshman Congresswoman Ilhan Omar this week, the first Somali-born American in history elected to U.S. Congress.