Just when conventional wisdom says that the governor is starting to get his game, he opens his mouth. This time, it was on WFAE, the public radio station in his home town of Charlotte. Maybe he thought that the mean old capitol press corps wouldn’t be listening to a Charlotte station. Or maybe he thought he could sneak away from them since he didn’t put it on his daily schedule.
But, alas, they were listening. And not only were they listening, they heard him making stuff up again. Which begs the old joke: How do you know when Pat McCrory is lying? His lips are moving.
This time, he got caught twice in the same interview. First, McCrory said that Duke Energy and IBM had stopped offering their employees health insurance because of Obamacare. That’s not true. That’s not even a rumor. He just made it up on the spot.
Next, he said that he and the legislature didn’t cut unemployment benefits. That’s not true either. Again, it’s not even being disputed. They cut the length of time a person could collect benefit, they cut the amount of benefits and they denied 170,000 unemployed North Carolinians long-term benefits that would have been covered by the federal government.
And all of this on top of telling MSNBC’s Chuck Todd last week that they didn’t “shorten the early voting, we compacted the calendar.”
All this brings into question whether McCrory is intentionally trying to mislead the public or woefully uninformed or a pathological liar. His statements about Duke Energy and IBM are similar to his claim about going to Moral Monday protests. They have no basis in fact so he just made them up. At some level, he must know he’s going to get caught but he can’t help himself.
His statements about early voting and unemployment benefits are like blaming Perdue for budgets that were really passed by his fellow Republicans in the legislature or blaming Obama for cutting unemployment benefits. Neither are true but it’s hard to tell if he’s trying to convince the people or if he has that little understanding of government or the consequences of his own actions. Or maybe these are the lies he’s told himself to justify screwing over people.
Regardless, none of those reasons are valid excuses for a sitting governor. The journalists I’ve talked to no longer take him at his word. Soon, neither will the voters. McCrory has created an ever widening credibility gap and seems to lack the integrity necessary to close it.
Thomas Mills is the founder and publisher of PoliticsNC.com. Before beginning PoliticsNC, Thomas spent twenty years as a political and public affairs consultant. Learn more >