Raleigh, N.C. — Three days after an editorial in The New York Times ripped the policies of North Carolina's Republican-led General Assembly, Gov. Pat McCrory on Saturday wrote a response to the newspaper praising the state's leadership for making the "tough decisions that we were elected to do."
Headlined "North Carolina's Path: The Governor's View," Saturday's letter to the editor claimed that the state is on the road to a powerful comeback and also offered examples of how many of the reforms passed by North Carolina's General Assembly in the last six months are paying off.
"Already companies have announced plans to create more than 9,300 jobs in the state and invest more than $1.1 billion in facilities," the letter said. "The jet engine manufacturer GE Aviation is bringing its advanced materials production to a new facility near Asheville."
McCrory also pointed to his experience as the mayor of Charlotte, saying that during his time leading the city he didn't bother with keeping tabs on what side of the political aisle ideas came from as long as they solved a problem in a cost effective way for taxpayers.
McCrory said it was that sort of collaboration that transformed Charlotte from a "regional hub" into a "leading national metropolitan center."
"My reforms have stepped on the toes of the political right and the left who are vested in the old ways of doing business," McCrory wrote. "But in my 14 years as mayor of Charlotte, I learned it didn't matter whether a good idea came from a Republican or a Democrat."
In Wednesday's editorial, The New York Times said North Carolina's reputation as a progressive state has been damaged by the General Assembly.
"North Carolina was once considered a beacon of farsightedness in the South, an exception in a region of poor education, intolerance and tightfistedness. In a few short months, Republicans have begun to dismantle a reputation that took years to build," the editorial said.
The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and Fox News also have pointed a harsh spotlight on changes in the state, from cuts to unemployment benefits to the repeal of the Racial Justice Act to the abortion restrictions now under consideration.
In his response Saturday, McCrory did not address unemployment benefit changes or the ongoing protests that have gone on in Raleigh for nearly three months and led to more than 700 arrests.
The North Carolina chapter of the NAACP has called the demonstrations starting each week "Moral Monday." Their aim is spotlighting GOP-backed legislation rejecting the expansion of Medicaid to the working poor, slashing benefits to the unemployed, eliminating jobs in public education and placing restrictions on voting.