U.S. Rep. Ted Budd is running for a third term in the 13th District against Democratic challenger Scott Huffman.
Budd is running in a district that was redrawn in 2019 but still favors Republicans and includes Alamance, Caswell, Chatham, Davidson, Davie, Lee, Person, Randolph and Rowan counties and part of Iredell.
Budd won reelection in 2018 after a serious challenge by Democrat Kathy Manning, who is now running for Congress in the redrawn 6th District.
Budd is a businessman from Davie County. He sat down recently for an interview with Jim Longworth, host of the "Triad Today" public-affairs show. "Triad Today" will broadcast interviews with several candidates for state and national office next week.
In an interview, Budd was asked about government issues and personal experiences.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt daily life, Budd was asked whether he would support a national mandate for wearing face coverings.
"Absolutely not," he said. "Individuals are smart."
He said the public knows more about the virus now than it did many months ago.
"You have someone sick at home ... then certainly there’s a sensitivity for a mask but there are other situations where it’s not necessary," Budd said. "We don’t have to lock everything down."
Longworth also asked:
Do you support Medicare for all?
Budd said he does not support it. And he continued to answer the question by referring to Medicaid, a different program.
"We want more people to have access to really high-quality healthcare at an affordable price. I don't think defining people below the poverty line is a very merciful way, which is a lot of what Medicaid does."
Do you support forgiveness of college student loans?
Budd said people need to be "really intelligent" when they take on student debt, but does not believe in loan forgiveness.
Students need to ask themselves: "Is the degree that they're actually taking on debt for actually going to be able to repay itself?"
At this point, Budd and Huffman began to address each other, ignoring Longworth's questions.
Huffman, in answering this question, said Budd voted to give tax breaks to the top 2% of wage earners and he should be more mindful of the struggles of borrowers at the bottom.
Budd said: "I think my opponent missed about 88% of the workforce because 90% of the people actually got a tax break and it led to the greatest economy we've seen in 50 years."
Huffman then accused Budd of taking away $450 billion in tax deductions for working-class people.
"It's just not true," Budd said. "We can go in and do the math. But we've seen more people having more take-home pay as a result of the tax cuts and jobs act that I supported."
What one thing did you learn from your parents?
Budd said his grandfather told him to "do what you say you're gonna do. That was his motto, my dad's motto and my motto. And I've done what I said I was gonna do."
Contact Richard M. Barron at 336-373-7371 and follow @BarronBizNR on Twitter.