Fourth District Congressional candidate Mark Burns had strong words to say to the incumbent William Timmons this past Monday evening at a Republican debate held at the Veranda on Global Drive in Greenville. Other candidates present were Mike LaPierre and George Abuzeid.
Several times during the one-hour debate, Burns challenged Timmons to disavow what he referred to as his “mentor” Lindsey Graham's support of Joe Biden's “gun-grabbing” agenda.
At one point, Timmons replied, to loud applause, “I believe Mr. Burns wants to run against Lindsey Graham. I'm not Lindsey Graham.”
Towards the end of the debate, in response to a question from debate moderator Joey Hudson about the Supreme Court's upcoming decision possibly overturning Roe V. Wade, Burns again asked Timmons if he would disavow Graham for supporting Joe Biden's “gun grabbing” efforts, at which point Hudson interrupted him to remind him that the question was about the Supreme Court.
Burns, despite audience disapproval, continued his question to Timmons. Hudson then said that if Burns went off-topic again he would be asked to leave the stage.
Burns was a strong supporter of Donald Trump in both the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections. Timmons pointed out that, although Trump knows both Burns and Timmons, he endorsed Timmons, to which Burns retorted that Trump has endorsed “swamp creatures” like House minority leader Kevin McCarthy and Pennsylvania senatorial candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz. “And he just endorsed another swamp creature called William Timmons.”
Timmons said, “Donald Trump can read poll numbers. You're (Burns) still in single digits.”
More than once, Burns referred to Timmons as a “weak-kneed, do-nothing Republican.” He said that Timmons and other Republicans were “not drawing a line in the sand, allowing these Communist, godless Democrats to restrict our freedoms in this nation. . . We have to fight fire with fire. . . We need to get in the trenches and fight like never before. Why? Because we are losing ground, not gaining ground.”
Timmons asserted his conservative bona fides and said that he was a Trump supporter, touting how he had voted twice against the “hyper-partisan, sham impeachments” by Democrats in Congress. He added that he has worked to push back on the “radical left's woke agenda.” He touted his 'A' rating from the NRA, his 100% rating from the National Right to Life, as well as a taxpayers superhero award. “That is my record,” he said, adding, “My record should earn your support in this election.”
The incumbent Congressman also said that he believed that the 2020 presidential election had been stolen and asserted that tens of thousands of votes had been cast illegally in several states, such as Arizona and Pennsylvania.
“The election was intentially and systematically corrupted from the beginning by Democrats,” Timmons said, adding “The media has been bought and paid for since the beginning. . . Our elections are sacrosanct.”
in response to a question about support for the Second Amendment, Timmons said “They're trying to find a way to disarm this society and they're trying to destroy this country, and this election will show them that the American people are sick and tired of their policies and we're going to see a new day in this country in November and it can't come soon enough.”
Abuzeid, a former Naval aviator, said, “The purpose of it (the Second Amendment) is to defend against tyranny, all forms of tyranny, both foreign and domestic. . . The one thing standing between a standing army and enslavement are people with firearms.”
LaPierre said, “Leave our guns alone,” adding, “We need to reclaim the moral and the spiritual center of our country, and when we do that we will start to see all of this violent crime abate over time.”
All four candidates expressed disapproval of 'red-flag' gun laws. Abuzeid said that they were an excuse to take away firearms.
All four also agreed that the wall on the southern border needs to be completed. LaPierre called the situation at the souther border as an “insurrection. He said that if the overrunning of the border is not stopped, “we won't have a country.”
“We need to quickly close the southern border,” said Burns, even going so far as calling for a stop to all immigration for the time being. Abuzeid disagreed with this last point, reminding the audience that his father had been a legal immigrant.
Burns said, to loud applause, “Why, Mr. Timmons, did you side with Joe Biden and the Democratic caucus to send 40 billion dollars to Ukraine when that money could have been right here in SC.”
Timmons defended his vote by saying that Russian president Vladimir Putin has been killing women and children. “We have to be strong in the global community or it's all going to fall down and we're going to be in World War III.”
Hudson's final question was whether Donald Trump owed an apology for what happened at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, to which the crowd answered with a loud, “No!.”
Abuzeid said that the prisoners deserve due process.
Burns asked, to applause, “Why isn't William Timmons fighting for the January 6 political prisoners? He believes the January 6 political prisoners are domestic terrorists so he would never fight for those true patriots who are still locked behind bars.”
Timmons said that the congressional committee currently investigating the January 6 protest is not a legitimate committee, in that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi did not seat the five Republicans appointed by House minority leader Kevin McCarthy.
Timmons called the process a witch hunt, to which LaPierre agreed, but then asked, “Why won't Timmons use the bully pulpit that he's been given to shout the alarm from the roof top? Mr. Timmons needs to get engaged. . . he needs to protect our Constitution, he needs to protect God's moral law.”