PoliticsNC: Governor, thanks for taking time to sit down with PoliticsNC.
Pat McCrory: Well, thank you. Nothing I like more than a weekend chat.
PNC: Governor, last week you described the protesters as “outsiders.” After an analysis of arrest records, it appears that over 95% of the protesters are from in state. How do you respond to that?
PMc: Well, when the protests started, they were on Halifax Mall–Outside the building. So, yes, they were outsiders. But, I’ll take this a step further. Once they went into the building they became insiders. In my campaign I pledged to clean up all the insider trading going on within this building. So, not only were they outside agitators, they became insiders who deserved to be locked up.
PNC: That’s a very interesting perspective. Since the legislature went into session, North Carolina has been featured in numerous articles that were less than favorable. Some people have even called North Carolina a “laughingstock.” What is your opinion of these stories and do you think they hurt the state’s standing?
PMc: Look, after the recession we went through, everyone deserves a good laugh. We’re in a rebranding effort here and our goal is to brand us as the funny state. Our new slogan’s gonna be “North Carolina: Funny strange or funny Ha, Ha. You can either laugh or cry but you can’t deny we’re funny.”
PNC: I’m not sure that’s going to work so well. You named Art Pope your budget director. That raised eyebrows since Mr. Pope has spent so much money supporting organizations that fund campaigns, including yours for governor. How do you defend that hire?
PMc: It was trade off. He let me live in the Govenor’s Mansion and keep my office in the Capitol. I thought it was a pretty good deal.
PNC: Let’s move to issues…
PMc: Let’s not.
PNC: I need to ask you about public schools. As a candidate you said protecting public schools would be one of your priorities and yet budget proposals cut funding for schools, lift caps on class size and cut 3,000 teacher assistants. How do you respond to that?
PMc: OH! So you want to play catch. I think I’ve even got an extra glove… Mr. Pope! Mr. Pope! Do you have any more of those baseball gloves?