State News

McCrory campaign banking on unpopular president

Posted June 20, 2008
Updated June 23, 2008

— Security was tight in a north Raleigh neighborhood Friday in advance of a visit from President George W. Bush.

Bush scheduled the trip to North Carolina to raise money for Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory's gubernatorial campaign. He arrived in Raleigh at about 4:30 p.m. Friday for the private event at the home of North Hills developer John Kane.

Kane's neighborhood was cordoned off to keep the media and non-residents out

While in North Carolina, Bush will also present a Clayton teenager with the President's Volunteer Service Award.

McCrory faces Democratic Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue in November's election. A recent WRAL News poll shows the two locked in a dead heat five months before the election.

McCrory joking grabbed a broom from Kane late Friday morning to help sweep the driveway before Bush's arrival. A white tent was set up on Kane's front lawn.

"We ought to welcome him, and it's an honor for me. It's an honor for the state, and it's an honor for Raleigh," McCrory said.

McCrory has been an active campaigner for Bush in the past, speaking at the 2004 Republican National Convention.

More than 100 people were expected to pay at least $4,000 each to attend the Raleigh fundraiser. Donors can give no more than that amount to the McCrory campaign, but they can give more to the party.

It was unclear how much the event would raise.

Bush planned to leave Raleigh and head back to Washington, D.C., by about 7 p.m.

Democrats are using McCrory's support of Bush in their campaign against him. In the latest WRAL News poll, 50 percent of those surveyed rated the president's performance as "poor," and his approval numbers are even lower nationally.

"I'm not going to run away from anyone who wants to lend support to what I want to do for the future of North Carolina," McCrory said.

On Thursday, the state Democratic Party unveiled a video on that highlighted McCrory's statements in recent years, including some during the four-way GOP primary in which he won the gubernatorial nomination May 6.

If McCrory were elected, he would support what Democrats call the failed policies of the president on children's health care and the environment, the party said.

"I think (voters) also understand that there's some real PR consequences to having George Bush in your state campaigning for your Republican nominee for governor," party Chairman Jerry Meek said.

Democratic strategist Gary Pearce knows the dilemma of banking on an unpopular president. When he directed John Edwards' 1998 U.S. Senate campaign, he welcomed an unpopular Bill Clinton to town. Fundraising outweighed the Monica Lewinsky scandal at the time, he said.

"I said at the time we had 600,000 good reasons to do it because that's how much money we raised, and that money enabled us to fight back," Pearce said. "If I'm in the party of an unpopular president, I've got that problem anyway. So, what you've got to weigh against is, he can help raise money to fight back."


McCrory and Perdue will face off Saturday for the first time in the campaign at a forum in Atlantic Beach sponsored by the North Carolina Bar Association. The event also will feature U.S. Senate candidates Elizabeth Dole and Kay Hagan.

Before Bush's trip to North Carolina, Perdue wrote him a letter to express her displeasure at his budget proposal, which eliminates funding for career and technical education. The plan would cost North Carolina more than $35 million that had been used to enhance high school math and science programs, she said.

"This is an extremely bad idea," Perdue wrote.


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  • heldensoul Jun 20, 2008

    lemmings for bush...anyone?

  • mwilliams2 Jun 20, 2008

    >Also, Unbroken,Have we been attacked since 9-11-2001 unlike the >numerous attacks in the 90's? Ask Barack. He befriended a guy >(William Ayers) that blew up part of the Wrold Trade Center once.

    Now - yes, we have been attacked since 9/11/01 - the anthrax attacks. If I recall, the terrorist(s) who pulled that off have not been captured yet either.

  • The Fox Jun 20, 2008

    [Isn't that a lot like special olympics people congratulating each other on a great effort?]Where is your compassion?

  • FE Jun 20, 2008

    "What cracks me up is that Clinton was impeached because of his personal affairs that had nothing to do with us as a country ..." - mfalsana

    Well, actually Clinton was impeached for lying under oath to a federal investigation. Generally not a very wise thing for anyone to do, especially an attorney who is holding the highest public office in the land.

  • CrewMax Jun 20, 2008

    Once heard,
    "If you're not a liberal when you're young, you have no heart.
    If you're not a conservative when you're old, you have no brain"

  • angora2 Jun 20, 2008

    Okay, I'm a Democrat who was planning to vote for McCrory. Not now.

  • mfalesana Jun 20, 2008

    "Who says Bush is an unpopular president? There are some people (I'm one of them) who respect him immensely!"

    Lauraleigh... You are a rare breed. I'm sorry to hear that. You really should do your homework and open your eyes a bit. And I'm not saying that either of the 2 poor choices for the next president are going to be any better... In fact I see them both equally disastrous for us. It's funny we get more people to vote for Miss America than the poor offering we have to vote for president.

  • PowderedToastMan Jun 20, 2008

    "He has defended the United States from terrorists." - Um...except on 9/11/01, when it would've mattered the most.
    posted by mentalgoose

    Bill Clinton was the president when 9/11 was being planned out and while the terrorist were training in our own country. The Clinton administration did not do their job preventing this from going on right under our noses. They knew Bin Laden was a threat well before GW took office and did nothing about it.

    At least GW is trying to do something about it.

  • mfalesana Jun 20, 2008

    What cracks me up is that Clinton was impeached because of his personal affairs that had nothing to do with us as a country and yet we have someone that has lied many many times in office and who went into an undeclared war under lies and false pretenses and yet nothing. He is just fine. How does the logic on that work? Although...

    Dennis kucinich has presented articles of impeachment against president bush. But it's even funnier that news like this doesn't quite make it on WRAL. Could they being trying to keep it quiet for a treasonous fool for a president?

    If you don't believe me or have any clue what I'm talking about look up Dennis kucinich and impeachment and see for yourself. I love how this is being kept low profile even though the votes were all there to proceed with the impeachment of bush.

  • davidgnews Jun 20, 2008

    He's still more popular than the democrat congress by about 10 points. lizard

    Isn't that a lot like special olympics people congratulating each other on a great effort?