State News

Perdue, McCrory debate at WRAL, take viewers' questions

Posted September 8, 2008
Updated September 9, 2008

— Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory and Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue are returning to television for another debate, eight weeks before voters choose North Carolina's next governor.

The Republican and Democratic nominees will meet Tuesday night in a one-hour live forum at the WRAL-TV studios in Raleigh. It will be their third head-to-head meeting since winning gubernatorial primaries in May.

"This is a chance they've got to get out of the shadow of the national conventions that have taken up all of the oxygen for two weeks," Democratic consultant Gary Pearce said.

Since their last debate three weeks ago, Perdue's campaign has been critical of McCrory on school vouchers, arguing his support for them would cost hundreds of millions of dollars.

McCrory dismisses the argument. He and surrogates have countered that Perdue has backed subsidies for children who attend private preschools and universities.

Pearce and Republican consultant Carter Wrenn said both candidates need to connect with swing voters on what to do about jobs and the economy and to draw distinct differences on issues like illegal immigration, offshore oil drilling and public education.

"The people who are going to decide this election don't know how they're going to vote yet," Pearce said.

"It's all about the undecided at this point," Wrenn said. "It's a pretty close race, and I don't think either of them have yet etched in stone one of those reasons why it's clear to vote for, say, McCrory and not Perdue."

The debate will air live on WRAL-TV and at 7 p.m., and post-debate analysis will be streamed live on immediately afterward.

WRAL's Cullen Browder will pose some of your questions to the candidates and read some of your comments on the post-debate special.

CLICK HERE to submit a question for the candidates.


The debate will be simulcast Tuesday on WMYT in Charlotte and on WFMY in Greensboro/High Point.


The debate will also be repeated at the following times and channels:

  • Tuesday at 10:35 p.m. on WRAZ in the Triangle
  • Tuesday at 11 p.m. on WJZY in Charlotte
  • Wednesday at 1 a.m. on WSOC in Charlotte
  • Saturday at noon on WILM in Wilmington
  • Sunday at 1 p.m. on WUNC statewide
  • Sunday at 5 p.m. on WAXN in Charlotte

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  • jwhite1016 Sep 9, 2008


    It is inexcusable to exclude Mike Munger from the debate. Anyone who has an ounce of political sence and does the bare minimum in research will find he is 10 times better than either of these two corporate candidates. WRAL is owned by Westinghouse Electric Company, part of the Nuclear Utilities Business Group of British Nuclear Fuels (BNFL) whos #1 on the Board of Directors? None other than Frank Carlucci (of the Carlyle Group). It is no wonder why the two party dictatorship over this country is bringing us down. People please wake up! I was once a republican and a democrat but when I started to do my own research and look into TRUTH I found out more than I ever expected. If you vote for either of the two main candidates you will get exactly what you ask for. Cure your own apathy. -Jameson A. White

  • pbjbeach Sep 9, 2008

    i personnaly do not belive that the real truth is in either of these candiates concerning any of the issues that affect average working peoples lives everyday( the only way to tell when a politician is lying is if their lips are moving

  • hckeyfan22 Sep 9, 2008

    Again - McCroy was on point! Perdue just smiled and dodged answers

  • BlueForever Sep 9, 2008

    How scary that Beverly Purdue - excuse me "Bev" - got this far in our state. You can't compare the two. McCrory is doing a great job; there's no comparison in intelligence.

  • HopingForABetterWorld Sep 9, 2008

    When this whole thing started for primaries, I was totally against McCrory. I just didn't trust him. However, I do like a lot of what he says. He is absolutely DEMOLISHING Perdue. She is playing the word games about negative ads and other things. What a joke...don't worry Mr. Mayor, we the voters are definitely smart enough.

    I like the way David Crabtree and Pam Saulsby are asking the questions and not letting them get away with politics...job well done WRAL for that. However, I am very disappointed that WRAL is using the same questions that ABC had in their debate. We already heard their views on these issues. It'd be nice to get their views on other issues, like government waste.

  • podtalk Sep 9, 2008

    If any of you watched this I would be interested in your take on it. McCrory chewed her up and spit her out, she couldn't answer any questions with a straight answer, she beat around the bush on every issue.

  • ThatsRight Sep 9, 2008

    Perdue has been in Raleigh sniffing behind Easley too long. Time for her to go. McCrory for Governor!

  • John Sep 9, 2008

    Vote for Perdue if you want 4 more years or Hunt and Easley. The schools and state could not stand it for another 4 years. Education is all the they have talked about and all it has been is a Baby sitting Service paid for by the tax payers. Take a look at the School Drop out Rate, and Easley is worried abut college and we can not even get the kids to stay in high school. go figure

  • jenny2 Sep 9, 2008

    I stand by the position that if a candidate is credible enough to appear on the ballot, that candidate should be included and treated fairly in debate. Go to to find out more about this candidate, since access to his ideas is being restricted.

  • jenny2 Sep 9, 2008

    Why is Mike Munger, a highly credible and articulate candidate, not in the debate? This is not the first time he has been unfairly excluded from debate. One radio station remedied that by giving him the chance to field the identical questions that McCrory and Perdue were given, on air the following day. If it is now too late to include Mr. Munger in this debate, I would like to see a similar redress offered by WRAL. Why are the people spoon fed cadidates according to the lights of the media powers that be? If a candidate is credible enough to be on the ballot, he or she should without question be in every debate. I am registered Republican, but I want to hear the ideas of all candidates, and I am especially impressed with those of the Libertarian Mr. Munger, who really does advocate the smaller government and fiscal responsibility that the Republicans give lip service to.