The Southern Pines Pilot - McCrory: Perdue's Ads Untrue
Pat McCrory, Republican candidate for governor, said Monday that several of his opponent's attack ads are outright lies.
McCrory specifically cited an advertisement that claims that he is in favor of dumping garbage from New York City in North Carolina. Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue, his Democratic opponent, approved the ads.
"What is she talking about?" McCrory said. "It's a total fabrication. I've been the mayor of Charlotte. We do nothing with trash."
McCrory, who stopped by The Pilot office Monday for a brief interview during a visit to Moore County, said he is relying on the press to debunk those advertisements because he doesn't want to strike back with his own negative ads. He said his campaign has refrained from running those types of ads.
McCroy said the advertisements will backfire on Perdue, adding that she is the hand-picked successor to Gov. Mike Easley.
"She's willing to say or do anything to keep power," he said. "I don't mind an ad that disagrees with policy. That's fair game."
Asked if there isn't a kernel of truth in the ad, McCrory said all he can think of is there was talk two years ago about a regional dump that Democratic state Sen. Marc Basnight backed.
The North Carolina League of Municipalities lobbied against the dump, and McCrory said he supported the League's position because it would have cost Charlotte $2 million a year in fees. He said the advertisement may be a distortion of that position, but it still doesn't make sense to him because there was no mention of New York trash at any time.
"The ad is a lie and a total distortion," he said, "but people believe it."
Perdue is running several other ads against McCrory with claims that he said are false. One says that he opposes raises for police and firemen. He said others distort his position on roads and immigration.
"She's planning to win this campaign with 30-second, negative TV ads," he said.
McCrory said he would not strike back with negative ads of his own.
"I wrote all my ads," he said. "Every ad I run, I do the talking. I talk about what I'm going to do. I made the commitment I'm not going to do that."
But the national Republican Governor's Association is running ads attacking Perdue.
Despite being heavily outspent, McCrory has recently pulled ahead in both state and national polls.
Meanwhile, Sen. Barack Obama has pulled even in North Carolina with Sen. John McCain in the presidential race. North Carolina hasn't gone Democratic for president since 1976. State Sen. Kay Hagan has pulled ahead of Sen. Elizabeth Dole for her seat.
It paints the picture of a state that is hungry for change. McCrory agreed that it was ironic that he might benefit from the same sentiment that is helping Obama and Hagan.
"I do know I'm seen as the change candidate," he said. "But I'm not sure it's for the same reason."
Voters want change nationally because they are upset about the economy and the direction of the war in Iraq, McCrory said.
They want change in Raleigh because of the lack of leadership and culture of corruption, he said.
"People are fed up with the same five or six people running the state," he said. "People are looking for someone who's open, honest and accountable."
McCrory said he is focusing on his record and ethics.
"I talk about my leadership on transportation, the economy, criminal justice and mental health care," he said. "I've got a great track record at creating jobs. ... I've been in office for over 20 years and there has never been a hint of corruption."