The North Carolina Republican Party has a problem. Well, it’s got a lot of them, but it’s got one big one. The guy who’s supposed to be the face and leader of their party can’t tell the difference between the truth and a lie.
It’s one thing when he says that he won’t sign any bill that further reduces access to abortion. Or that that he won’t accept any tax reform that is not revenue neutral. Those are political issues and, while he may get slapped around during election season for flip-flopping, they aren’t, by themselves, fatal missteps.
But McCrory just keeps at it. In his first news conference in too long, he blamed Obama for cutting unemployment benefits to long term unemployed. Again, that’s just false. Either he doesn’t understand how government works, or he just tried to lie his way out of a stupid political move–which is another stupid political move.
But it’s not just politics that Pat McCrory lies about. He lies about anything. This week, he told a reporter in Wilson that he had been frequently attending the Moral Monday protests and even talking to the protesters. Now, there’s a “where’s Waldo” type effort to find McCrory in the hundreds of crowd photos that are posted online of the Moral Monday protests. McCrory’s not showing up in any of them.
And last week, he told a reporter in High Point that the incident where he was throwing baseball instead of meeting with a group delivering petitions “didn’t occur.” That’s just not true. It was documented and covered by several Raleigh news outlets. Not only that, he referenced it in his own bizarre video.
And his penchant for prevarication is becoming part of his administration’s institutional culture. Remember when Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos blamed Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin for rejecting the Medicaid expansion? And how about Secretary of Public Safety Kieran Shanahan saying he was giving up his law practice while still advertising his services? He’s lying to somebody, either the Governor or the people he’s targeting in his advertising. Regardless, no one is being held accountable.
Politics is full of half truths and elected officials trying to weasel out of promises they made on the campaign trail. But McCrory’s lies are different. He’s denying events that actually happened and blaming other people for his own misdeeds and his own disregard for the truth is filtering into his administration. Most significantly, he’s lying to the press, a group of people for whom information is currency. If he doesn’t change his ways, he will quickly find out, that in the minds of journalists, he’s broke.