Tea party-backed candidate Greg Brannon threw down some fighting words last Saturday in North Carolina's GOP Senate primary contest.
At a Feb. 15 event, he suggested the battle to unseat Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan requires the Republican nominee to "work your rear end off and get bloodied and beat up."
Brannon, an obstetrician, is considered one of the leading candidates in a crowded GOP field, which also includes North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis and pastor Mark Harris.
At the weekend meeting with active and former military personnel and police officers, one attendee asked how the candidate could avoid getting "so bloodied and beat up" that the Republicans' intra-party fight distracted from the policy issues. In response, Brannon insisted that a hard-fought primary would only work to his advantage were he to win the nomination and face Hagan in the November general election:
I'm going to disagree with you a little bit. I believe that if you guys are going for a shooting competition or triathlon or going to prepare for war, do you take it easy? You work your rear end off and get bloodied and beat up. Then you're prepared. Mrs. Hagan will not take this easy. ... If we are not prepared for that battle, we are going to get whupped. The question is who can give her a good fight and/or beat her.
Watch a clip of Brannon's remarks above.
He also directly attacked Tillis, tying him to recent actions of the North Carolina legislature:
I want to know how Mr. Tillis allowed Common Core [educational standards] in this state. It passed May of  when he was head. ... I want to know how Agenda 21 is attacking our private property. This is going to be bloody because Mr. Tillis does not want that kind of fight, he's not comfortable with those forums. So I'm going to disagree with this. This is truly confrontational because you know what happened? They took my Constitution away.
This week has been eventful for Brannon in other ways as well. A jury found him liable Tuesday for misleading investors regarding a technology startup he co-founded. He announced Wednesday that he had officially filed to run for the Senate seat.
— Dr. Greg Brannon (@DrGregBrannon) February 19, 2014
The Republican primary will be held May 6.