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Dalton stays on attack after debate

Posted October 4, 2012

Walter Dalton makes a point during the North Carolina gubernatorial debate Oct. 3, 2012.

— Democratic Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton remained in attack mode Thursday as he returned to the campaign trail a day after sparring with Republican Pat McCrory in the first of three scheduled gubernatorial debates.

In an appearance in Raleigh, Dalton said McCrory has raced out to a double-digit lead in polls conducted by WRAL News and other organizations primarily because he unsuccessfully ran for governor in 2008 and has kept his campaign going ever since.

"People know his name, but I don't think they know his policies," Dalton said. "Last night, I was able to, I think, put him on the defensive, and he's having to defend some policies I think are indefensible.

"When (voters) see that agenda, I think they're coming my way," he continued. "Time is a factor, but we've got time on this thing. I'm working it every day, every hour."

Dalton also had appearances in Greensboro and Charlotte on Thursday, while McCrory took the day off from public campaigning.

During the debate, Dalton went after McCrory on issues from taxes – he said the former Charlotte mayor would shift the burden from corporations to middle-class families – to education spending – he said McCrory would continue to cut money in early childhood programs – to natural gas drilling – he called McCrory a shill for energy companies.

The harshest confrontation came in discussion of an ad Dalton's campaign posted online last week. In it, black leaders accused McCrory of being insensitive to them.

McCrory called the ad "inexcusable" and said it was a low point in North Carolina political campaigns, but Dalton defended the ad, saying it was in response to a McCrory campaign ad that used a former Wilson County sheriff known for blaming his own election defeat on race.

"If he finds this offensive, it is because he has offended," Dalton said.

Gubernatorial debate Prof: Dalton's debate attack too little, too late

After the debate, McCrory criticized Dalton for the attacks.

"I hope (voters) see a contrast in styles, a contrast in philosophies, a contrast in leadership," he said. "It's not just the debate. I think they're seeing this throughout the campaign. That's why we're going to continue to move forward."

McCrory spokesman Ricky Diaz reiterated that stance Thursday, calling Dalton's moves a "desperate" attempt to get elected.

North Carolina State University political science professor Steve Greene said Dalton needed to go on the attack since he's so far behind McCrory with less than five weeks until Election Day.

"That's what the underdog almost always does. You can't just sit there and take the status quo. This is his attempt to shake things up, shake McCrory up," Greene said.

Many political pundits gave Dalton a slight edge in the first debate. Greene said that matters because most voters don't actually watch the debates – they watch the news coverage.

Still, he said he doesn't think Dalton will make up much ground.

"I cannot imagine that anything that happened last night is going to erase a 12-point difference in the polls," he said. "'Edged' does not get it. 'Wiped the floor with' – that might get you some momentum, but at this point, where the polls seem to be, 'edged' is just not good enough for Walter Dalton."

McCrory and Dalton are scheduled to meet twice more – on Oct. 16 and Oct. 24 – but Greene said those debates might not matter much either.

"There's just not a lot of evidence that (debates) have a big impact on elections. From that perspective, we do pay too much attention to them," he said.

41 Comments

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  • JustOneGodLessThanU Oct 8, 10:19 a.m.

    @Damien, instead of just replying back with "is not"...how about posting a factual rebuttal? Anyone can Google items that support my assertions.

    What information do you have that shows that McCrory does NOT support fracking or big business?...or that he does not treat poor and minorities (who often live in those fracking neighborhoods) with disrespect and disdain...or that he cares about clean air/water/etc.?

    Why doesn't he release his tax returns like everyone else? What is hiding?

    This guy is dirty and we know it. Keep your own head in the sand, but don't expect the rest of us to follow suit.

  • federalsales2 Oct 5, 4:34 p.m.

    ITS TIME FOR YOU TO GO DO SOMETHING ELSE

  • sweetums googoo Oct 5, 2:45 p.m.

    I am no fan of any (recent) branch of the NC government but here is what I see being a self proclaimed left leaning independent, FWIW...
    The legislature is the seat of real power (for the elected officials anyway...) and the Governor is the figurehead/champion/cheerleader of positions, to the people. All of this is by design and rightly so. We all need to take a hard look at the situation in NC and determine where the problem really resides. My bet is on the legislature. It is time for a change in the House... GOP... you had your shot and produced nothing but ill-will and divisiveness.

  • Damien Thorne Oct 5, 1:17 p.m.

    As Dalton the dolt noted, "His time is up". His appearance in that debate showed the entire democrat race in perspective. Just flat out dumb as a brick. If people actually took the time to educate themselves and take personal responsibility for them self the democrat party would not exist. That is why they are out in force trying to get people with no interest in voting to vote, those people by and large will vote dumbocrat simply due to the promise that the government will provide for them when they refuse to provide for them self. With the rate this president is going the USA will be wholly funded by China and the UN. Dalton is part of a party that does not know up from down and relies on attacks, deceit, and the mental slavery of people in order to stay in power. I HOPE that CHANGE in your pocket lasts, because Oblahma is going to make sure that is all you get. The government will need the rest to pay for your healthcare that is not free.

  • Damien Thorne Oct 5, 1:09 p.m.

    "He could not be farther from the "Do unto others as you would have done unto you" mantra. His selfish, short-sighted attitude does not reflect my personal ethics. Your mileage may vary."-----allinfantsareatheists

    Your post is one big lie. I guess my mileage and the truth varied.

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Oct 5, 11:50 a.m.

    McCrory is like a smoker in non-smoking section after someone tells him to put it out. He says that he's offended by *that* person.

    McCrory's continued insenstitivity (to lots of people) is an issue:

    -He doesn't care about you and your drinking water, but his business friends will make boatloads of cash when they drill under your house and pollute your water.

    -His record with minorities, and generally people who are unlike himself, is poor. It is very fair to call him out on this.

    -He doesn't care about his conflicts of interest, so he's not going to release his tax forms and will continue to just change the subject.

    He could not be farther from the "Do unto others as you would have done unto you" mantra. His selfish, short-sighted attitude does not reflect my personal ethics. Your mileage may vary.

  • Lamborghini Mercy Oct 5, 11:36 a.m.

    dgtaylor - I believe it was the NCSU Poly Sci Prof Steve Greene who said on the broadcast version of this story that debates don't make any difference.

    This is a new era and more youth is involved through social media so it does matter and most of the smarter voters can see through Romney statements which are inconsistent. While he's busy bragging about his 1 state as governor that has hardly ever seen tough times, Obama was responsible for all 50 states.

  • Lamborghini Mercy Oct 5, 11:09 a.m.

    Dalton took a pay cut, Mccrory took a 19% pay increase... Mccrory doesn't think the Dept of Commerce (which would be one of his key agencies if he became governor) is competent enough and wants to hire outside private businesses to research jobs potential, etc for fracking. Mccrory agrees with Romney about the statement of the 47%. I'm not seeing why folks would vote for Mccrory at this point when he doesn't seem too knowledgeable or supportive of his own government programs (which helps you) based on the 60 minute debate I saw.

  • dgtaylor Oct 5, 11:07 a.m.

    I believe it was the NCSU Poly Sci Prof Steve Greene who said on the broadcast version of this story that debates don't make any difference. Maybe not in this year's gubernatorial race.
    But the presidential debate is making a big difference..unfortunately for Mr. Obama. Neilson just reported that over 70 million viewers watched the debacle.

  • ThomasL Oct 5, 10:36 a.m.

    Mr Dalton on one note you spoke that you took a pay cut like everyone else,well it was your boss good old Bev that made that happen for you always looking out for the people of NC,yea right just like you would do a carbon copy of her just a different sex.

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