Over the weekend, Governor Pat McCrory issued his response to a strongly worded New York Times editorial (“The Decline of North Carolina“) defending his leadership as helping fuel North Carolina’s comeback. Here’s an excerpt:
‘The North Carolina I’m leading today is on a powerful comeback. After just six months of problem-solving leadership and making the tough decisions that we were elected to do, there is significant movement on vital reforms to tax policy, energy, education, economic development and transportation.
While it may not be apparent to the very liberal worldview of The Times, North Carolina’s new focus on reform is paying off.’
But even as McCrory touted those reforms, the Greensboro News & Record called out the Governor in its Sunday editorial (“Memo to McCrory”):
‘Remember, you were elected not only by Republicans but by a fair number of unaffiliated voters and Democrats on the premise that you’d be about the business of smart, efficient government and strengthening the state’s economy.
But as you yourself recently complained, the GOP-controlled legislature seems to have taken its eye off that ball. Further, some lawmakers have been dismissive and disrespectful toward the office of governor. Could Senate leader Phil Berger, a member of your own party and a native son of the Triad, have made that any clearer when he suggested that you don’t understand the legislative process?
That’s cold. And arrogant.
To your credit, you did threaten to veto the abortion bill if significant changes weren’t made. But now minor modifications (which are mostly cosmetic) give you the opportunity to wriggle out of that ultimatum. Don’t take it. Stand fast. Draw a line. Man up. They may not like that but they’ll respect it. And so will the voters.
As you’ve said before, Republicans are committing the same sins they’ve condemned in the past. “’When the Democrats were in power,” you said of the convoluted abortion bill process, “this is the way they did business. It was not right then and it is not right now.”
Finally, some other advice we respectfully hope you’ll consider:
• Meet with “Moral Mondays” protesters. You don’t have to agree with them, but at least listen.
• Pull aside saner heads in the legislature and point out to them that their reckless abandon doesn’t help the cause for economic development in our state. Exhibits A and B: a pair of unflattering editorials last week in The New York Times and The Washington Post. (Egads! Are we becoming South Carolina?)
• Don’t lose sight of the pragmatic optimism and business focus that served you well as mayor of Charlotte.
• Remember that, although most lawmakers have the comfort of gerrymandered “safe” districts, you don’t. You ran at large, and you’re accountable to a much broader and more diverse group of voters.’