@NCCapitol

@NCCapitol

NCGOP slams NAACP's Barber, Moral Monday movement

Posted February 7

— North Carolina Republican Party Chairman Claude Pope said Friday that the so-called "Moral Monday" movement is "radical left-wing" activism and accused state NAACP president William Barber of seeking to "eviscerate" state Republican leaders.

Pope held a news conference in advance of a planned Saturday march, an annual event known as "Historic Thousands on Jones Street." After much national media coverage of last year's Moral Monday protests, the turnout for this year's event is expected to be large.

Pope denounced the Moral Monday marches as an “overtly partisan, left-wing political movement” and called Barber “a radical left-wing activist” with a “fringe liberal agenda.” 

“Make no mistake, tomorrow’s event is a political rally,” Pope said, “and the national left-wing groups like MoveOn.org and Planned Parenthood have been recruiting liberal activists from across the country to attend the rally.

“They support Rev. Barber’s radical left-wing agenda to fully implement 'Obamacare,' raise taxes and take us back to the days of double-digit unemployment,” he added.

The NAACP has called on Republican leaders to accept federal funds for Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act and to rescind deep budget cuts to education and social services. Republicans say the latter would require a tax increase, which they argue would slow the state’s economic recovery.

“Barber’s use of inflammatory, divisive and offensive rhetoric has no place in the public arena of ideas,” Pope said. “We need to have a respectful, political discourse here in North Carolina.”

“If Democrats want to have a seat at the table, they need to learn to tone down the inflammatory discourse,” he said. 

He also used the occasion to slam U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan, whose seat has been nationally targeted in this fall’s elections, as well as Attorney General Roy Cooper, who is expected to run for governor in 2016.

“Kay Hagan and Roy Cooper – do you support Rev. Barber’s Moral Monday political rallies?” he asked.

Pope also said Barber is taking aim at the wrong party.

“William Barber has every right to protest, but he’s protesting the wrong side. The real beef is not with Republicans but with the Democrats themselves who were so corrupt, so inept and spent the state so deeply into debt that they lost their 140-year majority,” Pope said. “Don’t get mad at Republicans because your Democratic friends screwed up.”

The annual marches began years ago, when the Democrats held power in both the legislature and the governor’s mansion, and Barber was a vocal critic of decisions made by leaders at that time as well.

The GOP chairman also accused legislative Democrats of being unwilling to work with the Republican majority, quoting a 2012 white paper crafted by Blueprint NC, a liberal organizing group, that recommended Democrats attempt to “eviscerate” Republican leaders.

Blueprint NC is not part of the state Democratic Party, and its recommendations were not endorsed or supported by any elected Democrats or party leaders, but Republicans have long insisted that it represents the Democrats’ official position.

Pope called Barber the “de facto head of the Democratic party” and accused him of trying to execute the Blueprint strategy.

“Through [the state Democratic Party’s] endorsement of William Barber, they are basically endorsing that strategy,” he said. “That’s not a great way to begin a bipartisan working relationship.”

When WRAL News pointed out that House Speaker Thom Tillis had been heard encouraging his caucus members to “gut punch” House Democrats in floor debate in 2011, Pope downplayed the comment as intended only for a private meeting “between Republicans.”

When it was pointed out that the Blueprint memo was similarly intended to be confidential, Pope responded, “People’s passions run high, as we’ve seen in a lot of political discourse. What we’re saying today is that discourse needs to return to a normal political discourse.”

100 Comments

This story is closed for comments. Comments on WRAL.com news stories are accepted and moderated between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Oldest First
View all
  • peeler326 Feb 11, 3:13 p.m.

    We want the corrupt, inept Democrats back - they ARE BETTER than these fool Republican TP'ers!

  • kodywoof Feb 10, 6:40 p.m.

    Only 20,000 showed up for the Moral Monday event out of a state population of over 7 million. The majority doesn't agree with many of their issues! The next election will confirm whatever the majority stands for!

  • goldenosprey Feb 10, 4:01 p.m.

    So, it's moral for people to believe welfare is better than work, work is evil, health care... View More

    — Posted by lessismore

    So, it's moral for people to believe indentured servitude is better than an honest day's wage for an honest day's work. Children and the sick should be denied food or medical care based on their inability to "produce" for the man. People should work full time and still have to beg for benefits to survive, it's OK to deny people the vote based on whom they are statistically likely to vote for, cronyism is honorable, your station in life should depend on who your parents are.

  • lessismore Feb 10, 1:52 p.m.

    So, it's moral for people to believe welfare is better than work, work is evil, health care should be free to those who refuse to work, no one should have to prove they are who they say they are to vote, corruption is honorable.

  • Taffy Feb 10, 12:22 p.m.

    As a registered Republican, I FULLY support the Moral Monday Movement! Those republicans in office are only following their own agenda with total disregard for the residents of this state. If you don't totally agree with them you must a radical. I'm not a robot following whatever they tell me. The people of this state are intelligent and we can tell when we've been mislead by the people we elected. I am ashamed to say I'm a Republican. But I'll state registered so I can vote this group out!

  • goldenosprey Feb 10, 11:22 a.m.

    How can they call this 'Moral Monday'. Majority of these people are for... View More

    — Posted by outdoor592000

    Funny, I've never heard from MM anything like "we are for abortion."

    What republicans seek will not stop abortions, it will just make it more dangerous for women and will treat women as having fewer rights than men, or groupings of dependent cells.

    Forcing a woman to carry and unwanted and /or dangerous pregnancy to term, then all but abandoning the mother and child after birth (the conservative way) Now, THAT'S immoral.

  • bji Feb 10, 11:14 a.m.

    Another Pope, another puppet of the Koch Brothers. I wonder if GOP supporters realize they voted in the Koch Brothers with Art Pope and Claude Pope doing their bidding. Did you know they want to end all public education? I bet McCrory didn't tell you that. Did you know they polluted the great lakes with the first keystone pipeline and many areas are still unable to be fished? Did you know they spent over $400 million on 2012 ads but hid behind foundations because they know it is all lies and just a plain evil agenda? Wake up maggots!

  • same ole story Feb 10, 10:37 a.m.

    Perfect picture of Barber!!! ALWAYS with his hand out but NEVER discussing the why or how to help "HIS" community to take responsibility for themselves. The old "Poor me" rhetoric is getting worn out and needs to be replaced with "This is how we will all make society better..." It starts in the home there Rev. Stop the cycle of living off of others and start taking pride in yourself and what you can do for the community!!!!!

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Feb 10, 10:28 a.m.

    Why are the Democrats disenfranchising the will of the majority.

    — Posted by tatermommy52

    1- Because we're a republic not a democracy.

    2- Because we have The Constitution that prevents the minority from the tyranny of the majority.

    Without these protections, women & African Americans would still not be able to own land or vote.

    While the groups who are being oppressed changed (e.g. gays & the poor), we still must rely on our country's values to make things equal and right.

  • Glock07 Feb 10, 10:12 a.m.

    Pope is right on the money. I could care less about anything that comes out of Barber. He has his foot on the throat of poor people.

More...