McCrory's speech to conservative pastors prior to storm draws criticism
Posted October 11, 2016
Raleigh, N.C. — Democrats are criticizing Gov. Pat McCrory for taking time out to speak to a group of conservative pastors in Raleigh about House Bill 2 Friday night as Hurricane Matthew approached North Carolina.
BuzzFeed first reported McCrory's remarks during the event, which was hosted by the Family Research Council. During the session, McCrory blasted such groups as the NCAA for boycotting the state and blamed Charlotte for passing the ordinance that sparked lawmakers to craft and pass House Bill 2, the controversial law dealing with LGBT rights.
"I don’t agree with the concept of redefining gender," McCrory said, a reference to provisions in the state law the require transgender individuals to use the bathroom corresponding with the gender listed on their birth certificates, even if they identify differently.
That stance, he said, has caused some groups to "purge" him and his wife socially, relating how Ann McCrory had been "disinvited" from charity events due to his stance on the issue.
Tony Perkins, the event's moderator and FRC's president, pleaded with those gathered to fire up supporters and back the governor at the polls.
McCrory is running to keep his job against Roy Cooper, the state's Democratic attorney general.
"Even with Hurricane Matthew bearing down on our state, Governor McCrory put HB2 first," North Carolina Democratic Party spokesman Dave Miranda said Tuesday. "What an incredible failure of leadership."
McCrory canceled an appearance at another event on Friday due to the impending storm.
The governor also has been a steady presence on television since Friday giving updates on the storm and has toured flood-damaged areas. He also canceled an out-of-state fundraising trip last week to stay close to home in advance of the hurricane. His campaign dismissed the Democratic Party's attack.
"That's rich, especially considering Roy Cooper held political fundraisers late last week and launched a political ad on Friday. Buzzfeed is a liberal rag, and everyone knew about the governor's appearance Friday," said Ricky Diaz, a spokesman for the McCrory campaign. "It's unfortunate that the liberals have resorted to calling a gathering of faith leaders a hate group in order to distract from Cooper wanting to spend the rainy day fund on things other than disasters and emergencies while Hurricane Matthew continues to ravage the state."