Trump endorsed 13th GOP candidate Bo Hines is taking heat from his primary opponents for a 2017 interview in which he said he was not a social conservative and is “more liberal” on social issues. This comes as Hines prepares for this Saturday’s Save America rally in Selma, N.C. where former President Donald Trump is expected to repeat his endorsement of Hines.

The August 2017 interview in the Hartford Courant was mostly about Hines attempts to return to the football field for Yale, after transferring from N.C. State after a stellar freshman season as receiver. Hines transferred to Yale after willing All-American honors in which he led the Wolfpack with 45 receptions and won ACC all-academic member honors. The Courant article recaps the misfortune Hines had on the field. Due to injuries, he missed most of the 2015 and all of the 2016 season.

Hines spoke of his political ambitions in the article.

“I loved the school and staff, and it was close to home,” Hines said of N.C. State. “But ultimately I knew I wanted to have a political career and I felt like Yale would give me the best opportunity to do that one day.”

“In this position I’m so fortunate to deal with some really, really incredible kids and Bo is as driven, as organized and as mature as anyone I’ve been part of at any school,” Yale Bulldogs coach Tony Reno said. “He’s a superstar kid.”

Hines was unable to compete in the 2017 season due to his continuing struggles with injuries. Prior to his senior year at Yale, Hines announced he was hanging up his football cleats.

Five years later, the article mostly taking about his football career is taking center stage in the GOP primary for North Carolina’s 13th Congressional district. Eight candidates have filed for the new Congressional seat that includes Southern Wake County, along with all of GOP rich Johnston County. Parts of Harnett and Wayne as also in the district.

But it is this quote that Hines’s opponents are bringing up.

“I’d run as a Republican, but I’m not a social conservative,” Hines said. “I call myself a social libertarian, I guess. I’m a lot more liberal on certain social issues. I think it’s part of our generation. I’m hoping the Republican Party in the future will not be so bogged down by the 80-year-olds sitting in Congress who want to regulate how people live their lives.”

The North Carolina Values Coalition pointed to that quote in their endorsement of Chad Slotta.

“Chad Slotta is a life-long leader in the pro-life movement, and we expect he will be a staunch advocate for the unborn and their mothers in Congress,” said the Executive Director of the NC Values Coalition Tami Fitzgerald. “His own daughter’s early birth at 24 weeks taught him the value of protecting every precious life. It is refreshing to see such an outspoken leader on issues dear to North Carolina families, when one of his leading opponents, Bo Hines, said he’s “not a social conservative,” and “is a lot more liberal on certain social issues.” We believe that Chad Slotta will represent North Carolina and the 13th Congressional District with integrity, great intellect, and the values that conservative voters of faith believe in.”

Another top candidate Kelly Daughtry, a Johnston County attorney has come under fire for her donations to top Democrats.

Other top candidates include former Congresswoman Renee Ellmers, a Harnett County medical professional. Johnston County businessman DeVan Barbour, and Chad Slotta, a former preacher in Wake County.  Hines, Slotta, and Daughtry have all been running biographical television commercials. Barbour has sent several mailers to key Republican households.  Ellmers is working to remind voters of her previous service in Congress from 2011-2017.  Carolina Journal recently wrote of a forum in Harnett Count that involved several of the top candidates.

In late March former President Donald Trump endorsed Hines.

Trump will be in Johnston County on Saturday April 9 to highlight his endorsement of Hines among other candidates.

“Bo Hines is 100% pro-life, 100% pro-God, 100% pro second amendment and 100% pro-Trump,” said Hines spokesperson Rob Burgess. “Any suggestion otherwise is patently false.”

Burgess said Hines was responding to a question about clean water and clean air.  He added that Hines has grown as a candidate and person in the five years from that interview.

Meanwhile Hines is counting on a massive rally this weekend with former President Trump in Johnston County to help lift his efforts.

“We are excited to welcome Trump to the 13th. We are excited to celebrate the Trump America first polices and highlight why we need to elect America first candidates like Bo Hines in 2022,” said Burgess.

It is worth noting that Chad Slotta donated to the Hines effort before they two were paired against each other in the court drawn 13th.  Slotta donated $100 to Hines on June 29, 2021, when Hines was planning on running in a district to the west of the triangle before redistricting lawsuits and the courts scrambled many candidates campaign plans.