The Secret Service's public humiliation and the country's first Ebola diagnosis—topics that would appear at least one step removed from partisan warfare—aren't ready-made issues for the campaign trail. But in roughly 24 hours, one candidate has managed to insert both into his own race.
Thom Tillis, the Republican Senate nominee from North Carolina, on Thursday called on President Obama to ban travel from Ebola-stricken countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea, arguing that people from those countries could be vectors for the deadly disease. Just a day earlier, Tillis chided his opponent, Sen. Kay Hagan, and Obama for the Secret Service's litany of recent mistakes.
In both instances, the criticism made essentially the same point: The president can't keep America safe.
"How on earth can you protect the nation if you can't protect the White House?" he asked, according to an account of his speech Wednesday.
In a statement Thursday about Ebola, he said "it makes absolutely no sense to risk more cases" by allowing travel to the West African countries. "It's time for Washington to take action to protect the American people," he asserted.
It's unclear how either issue will resonate with voters in the state. At the moment, both are among the biggest stories in the country. Each has received disproportionately more coverage nationally than many topics discussed during campaigns, like abortion rights or Obamacare.