Raleigh, N.C. — Maybe there's a "House of Cards" fan at the Governor's Mansion – or maybe just someone with a sweet tooth.
Tuesday, the day after he signed a bill adding new restrictions on abortion in North Carolina, Gov. Pat McCrory and a retinue of security guards ventured out of the mansion to bring abortion-rights protestors a plate of cookies.
McCrory called protestor Jamie Sohn out into the middle of Blount Street to hand her the plate. Then he returned to the mansion.
Protestors said there was no conversation, aside from a "God bless you" from the governor.
The event, captured in photos on Planned Parenthood's Facebook page, didn't go over well with the protestors. They returned the plate of cookies to the mansion gates with a note that read, "Gov McCrory: we'll take women's healthcare over cookies."
Paige Johnson with Planned Parenthood says McCrory never responded to the group's petitions and calls to meet with them.
However, she said, the governor did wave at them from a mansion balcony Monday, shortly after signing the bill they were protesting.
"On Monday, we stood in front of his mansion all day urging him to veto the legislation. Instead, he chose to sign it while we stood outside his gates," Johnson said. "On Tuesday, he crossed the street with a security entourage to bring us cookies."
Johnson said she doesn't believe McCrory would have done the same if the protestors were men.
"Perhaps no move to date reveals the condescension Gov. McCrory truly feels towards women and women's health than his prank Tuesday," she said. "At least now we know where McCrory stands on women's health. What he needs to know is that we're in it for the long run."
Later Tuesday night, McCrory staffers tried the pastry gambit again, this time bringing slices of cake out to three protestors camped out on the sidewalk.
The photo, posted by one of the protestors, went viral among Democrats and others already baffled by the cookie plate.
Several political observers said the gesture resembles a recent episode of the Netflix political series "House of Cards," in which operative Frank Underwood uses barbecue to break up a picket line of striking teachers.
McCrory spokeswoman Kim Genardo says the governor wasn't trying to send a message. She said the cake was brought out at about 10:30 Tuesday night by an mansion employee "who was responding to a child's request."
Genardo said the child was outside the mansion at the gate.