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Perdue's election comment sparks controversy

Posted September 27, 2011
Updated September 28, 2011

Aides to Gov. Bev Perdue are downplaying remarks she made at a Cary Rotary luncheon today about suspending the next congressional election. 

Spokesman Mark Johnson confirms that Perdue, speaking off the cuff as she often does, told the crowd that partisanship in Washington is keeping Congress from doing its job.  She said lawmakers are too worried about re-election to work across party lines. 

"I think we ought to suspend, perhaps, elections for Congress for two years and just tell them we won't hold it against them, whatever decisions they make, to just let them help this country recover," Perdue said.

"The one good thing about Raleigh is that for so many years we worked across party lines," she continued. "You want people who don't worry about the next election."  

Her unscripted remarks went viral this afternoon on conservative sites like the Daily Caller and the Drudge Report, where the banner headline read, "Dem Guv calls for suspending elections."

It even drew a somewhat tongue-in-cheek response from Senate Leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham: “In light of Gov. Perdue’s support for suspending Congressional elections, I want to state clearly, on the record, that I do NOT support suspending our next gubernatorial election.”

This being election season, Perdue's presumed GOP opponent Pat McCrory couldn't resist a jab, either.  

"Not only does this bizarre commentary suggest ignoring the Constitution, but does Governor Perdue forget her own inability to work with the Legislature, regardless if controlled by Democrats or Republicans?" McCrory wrote. "Governor, those in glass houses should not throw stones. We look forward to all of the upcoming elections in North Carolina in 2012."

Perdue's press secretary Chris Mackey said the remark had been taken out of context. “Come on," she wrote in an emailed statement. "Gov. Perdue was obviously using hyperbole to highlight what we can all agree is a serious problem: Washington politicians who focus on their own election instead of what’s best for the people they serve,” Mackey said.

It was a rough day in general for Perdue, whose penchant for ad lib remarks has gotten her into trouble before.  At an event this morning announcing an SBA grant program promoting exports, the governor showed up late, stumbled through her speech, and referred several times to Raleigh Denim co-founder Victor Lytvinenko as "David."  Victor's wife Sarah, standing behind Perdue at the podium, winced visibly as the governor repeated her mistake.  

259 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.

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  • gunny462 Sep 30, 8:54 a.m.

    "Everyone sooooo needs to lighten up. Politics is nothing but a joke anyway.dlphnwmn8"

    Typical.. Down play it!

  • go4gin Sep 29, 6:26 p.m.

    Bev knows she's "one and done" unless this comes to be!

  • dlphnwmn8 Sep 29, 4:14 p.m.

    Everyone sooooo needs to lighten up. Politics is nothing but a joke anyway.

  • Billfisher Sep 29, 3:45 p.m.

    Go Bev! We all love and support you!
    -WCRedneck

    Uh, no we dont...

  • Billfisher Sep 29, 3:44 p.m.

    How stupid are people? Do they think that WE AMERICANS CAN'T MAKE A SINGLE PAYER SYSTEM THAT'S THE BEST IN THE WORLD! Are we too stupid to do it better than the rest of the world, is that what those who are fighting this believe? We are too stupid to be the best?
    -teleman

    Actually to the contrary. We are smart enough to realize that a single payer system doesn't work in principle or practice. You keep drinking that Kool-aid. Sheep.

  • WakeCountyRedNeck Sep 29, 1:47 p.m.

    Go Bev! We all love and support you!

  • SSGNCNG Sep 29, 1:35 p.m.

    WRAL and the rest of the pro-Perdue, pro-Democrat Party media in this state will hide or try to bury this story. It's not a major revelation that Guv'nur Bev CrackCorn is not articulate and not very bright. We get that. If this had been Gov. Pat McCrory making that statement the headlines on the NandO and the lead stories on WRAL would be "McCrory's attempt to subvert the Constitution". The media would be frothing at the mouth insane by this time. The value in this story is to simply illustrate the inherent and corrosive bias of these outlets. These public forums are of great value solely because they allow everyone to see that we're not alone, most voters agree with what I just wrote. Most voters are going to send Guv'nur Bev Crackcorn and President O'Carter to the unemployment line in 11/2012. Turnabout is fair play, these two clowns have destroyed more jobs than any Governor in NC history and more than any President in US history.

  • UNCfuturealumi Sep 29, 1:30 p.m.

    She is still the laughing stock of politics and to this Great State Of NC...How many will stand by me and lets impeach her and do it ASAP

  • Kellion Sep 29, 12:29 p.m.

    i've always said that she is a joke and an embarrassment to this great state, and boy does she live up to it.

  • meeper Sep 29, 12:25 p.m.

    It didn't it long for this to make it to the back pages of WRAL.

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