A week ago, WFMY News 2 reached out to both candidates vying for North Carolina governor. Pat McCrory sat down with Evening Anchor Frank Mickens to discuss everything from HB2 and coal ash to Duke Energy and his reputation.
Attorney General Roy Cooper's campaign has indicated he might not be available for an interview. We'll post his interview on wfmynews2.com if and when we speak with him.
Frank: "Governor, thanks so much for being here.
McCrory: "It's an honor to be back home in Greensboro."
Frank: "Plenty of people around here giving you credit for daring to step out on controversial issues and stand your ground. With that said, would you rather North Carolina have a good reputation nationwide or would you rather win the HB2 battle?"
McCrory: "I don't think it's an either/or situation. I think, first of all, I do believe in strong values. And it's an issue that I did not bring to North Carolina."
McCrory: "At certain times you gotta draw the line."
Frank: "So let's say the U.S. Supreme Court comes back and they find it unconstitutional. Then what? Because you're still going to have the same issue with..."
McCrory: "I'm sworn to uphold the constitution of the United States and I always do that. So whatever the Supreme Court decides and all this is going to the Supreme Court."
Frank: "So obviously around here, the Triad, Greensboro specifically calls itself tournament town. The NCAA, the ACC deciding to pull out over all of this."
McCrory: "Well, it wasn't the NCAA or the ACC. It was the chancellors of universities. That's who they are. And I think the chancellors of the universities made terrible decision. They're punishing the popcorn maker at the Greensboro coliseum over a social issue."
Frank: "You had a whole state that wanted to know okay, what is he going to do now? We got two major organizations… and we got statements and the only difference was there was one sentence added to the end on the second statement. So it didn't look appear, and I'm giving you an opportunity, I'm not taking you down here. I'm giving you an opportunity to explain what was going on in the days immediately following that where you weren't coming out as you've been known to and getting in front of a podium or a camera and saying here's why this is best for North Carolina."
McCrory: "I think I've clearly stated on the record that the left wing of the democratic party and roy cooper and Jennifer Roberts brought this ridiculous issue to North Carolina. With all due respect, they brought this issue not me."
Frank: “Up the road in Eden in Rockingham county, it was a couple years ago, 2014, 39,000 tons of coal ash spilled into the Dan River.”
Frank: “People are questioning if you and your administration are tough enough on Duke Energy. And I think it really boils down to 29 years working for the company. And nobody's faulting you for having a job.”
McCrory: “Proud 29 years.”
Frank: “I think questions come up with situations like what happened in let's say 1994, I think it was. So you were on the city council. There was this vote. The vote would've impacted Duke Energy. It would've allowed Duke Energy to buy more power from the city of Charlotte. The state supreme court, there was a dissenting justice that cited emails between you and Duke Energy employees discussing that vote.”
McCrory: “You're doing some great democratic talking points."
Frank: “Well, it's not about democrat. It's about you're running for the most powerful office in the state and I want you to defend your… defend your record here and defend your relationship with Duke Energy.”
McCrory: “First of all, I haven't worked Duke Energy for over 6 years. 8 years. 8 years ago is when I resigned from duke power to run for governor.”
McCrory: “And the chairman and CEO of Duke Energy did not endorse me. Guess who he endorsed? Beverly Perdue. Guess who else he endorsed. Roy Cooper.”
McCrory: “When the coal ash spill occurred in my 11th or 12th month in office or 13th month in office, who imposed the largest fine on Duke Power in their history, in North Carolina history?
Frank: “I think the question still goes back to the state supreme court justice who cited emails."
McCrory: “That's been cleared up.”
Frank: “Let's clear it up though. What was the problem then?”
McCrory: “The lawyer of the city of Charlotte, it was a consent item in the city of Charlotte that was voted on. It was a unanimous vote upon Charlotte's city council. and I've been totally cleared from that item. Totally cleared.”
Frank: “Do you care what people think about you? I know you're a principled person, it appears. But do you care? I mean you're a divisive figure would you not acknowledge? People are pretty much clear on do we go for pat McCrory or do we go for someone else.“
McCrory: “Absolutely. But let me tell you what I've done.”
McCrory: “When I came into office we had $2.6 billion in debt owed for unemployment. I paid it off and we have $2 billion reserve now in case we have another recession to help poor people.”
McCrory: “You daggum right I care. I want people to work. I care for teachers. I gave the largest pay increases to teachers in the United States of America. When my predecessors had done nothing for teachers for five years. Yeah that's caring.”