Yesterday, Pat McCrory signed into law the anti-abortion law that he pledged not to sign when he was a candidate. Yesterday, WRAL joined the News & Observer, The Charlotte Observer and several other news outlets in calling it what it was–a broken promise. And it’s pushing McCrory closer to being a one-term governor.
Too many people say all politicians lie. But not all lies are created equal. Most politicians promise things in the course of a campaign that do not happen once they are in office. However, most of those promises are made sincerely and, if they are broken, it’s because of legislative action, inaction or compromise.
McCrory’s problem is different. In a televised debate, McCrory made a declarative, definitive statement about a decision that he would very likely face if elected governor. Laura Leslie asked him what additional restrictions to abortion would he be willing to sign. He answered forcefully, with a single word, “None,” leaving the audience certain that he would not sign any legislation that added restrictions to a woman’s right to choose.
Everyone should watch the clip. It’s quite remarkable that this video could exist and he would still sign that bill. On second thought, don’t watch it. We will all see it enough during the 2016 election.
McCrory tried to say that the bill doesn’t restrict abortion, but he’s just digging a deeper hole since he knows that’s not true. In his seven months in office, he’s made a bunch of dubious statements. He said repeatedly, including in his state of the state address, that any tax reform must be revenue neutral but he signed a tax cut that also dramatically cut spending. He said he regularly attended Moral Monday protests when he quite obviously didn’t. He denied his bizarre baseball incident even happened though it was heavily documented in the Raleigh press. And he said he had never met with the video sweepstakes folks when, in fact, he had. Combined, it leaves a picture of a politician who has trouble with the truth.
But the pledge to sign no additional abortion restrictions is McCrory’s “Read my lips” moment. He left no doubt where he stood and what he would do–and then he did the opposite. It’s not about the issue. It’s about the trust. And he just lost the voters’.
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 >