Raleigh, N.C. — Despite gaining control of Congress and several governor's offices nationwide and maintaining super-majorities in the North Carolina General Assembly, Republicans shouldn't gloat over the results of Tuesday's midterm elections, Gov. Pat McCrory said Wednesday.
McCrory said the GOP needs to "govern with humility," insisting that the multitude of wins wasn't a mandate from the voters.
"Even though we won, we shouldn't spike the ball. We should behave as though we've been to the end zone before and continue to govern, continue to lead," the Republican said in an interview with WRAL News.
"North Carolina is still very divided," he said. "We've got to recognize where there's differences and then try to have conversations."
McCrory said he is looking forward to having conversations with state lawmakers in the coming weeks and months about the 2015 legislative agenda, which could include Medicaid reform and even expanding the health insurance program for the poor and disabled.
He said he doesn't fear having little leverage with Republicans holding veto-proof majorities in both the House and the Senate, saying the vetoes he's issued in the past two years are used to make a statement, not necessarily to win a battle with lawmakers.
"It's a separation of powers issue, not a partisan issue," he said. "My responsibility, whether I'm a Republican or a Democrat, is to ensure the executive branch maintains its role of executing laws."
McCrory said he hasn't decided on whether to seek a second term as governor in 2016, saying he's not even halfway through his first term and is too busy running the state. He laughed at ads targeting him and the planned cleanup of coal ash ponds statewide that ran in recent weeks, noting he wasn't even on the ballot.
"I've got to stay focused on the long-term issues and the short-term emergencies and not get distracted by petty politics," he said.
"The campaign cycle of people running for three years, I don't think that's the way the founders meant it to be," he said. "We're governing, we're leading, we're working – not running for re-election."