@NCCapitol

@NCCapitol

NC House Speaker invites Trump to give State of the Union in Raleigh

Posted January 18, 2019 4:46 p.m. EST
Updated January 18, 2019 7:10 p.m. EST

— North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore on Friday invited President Donald Trump to give his usually annual, but this year maybe-canceled, State of the Union address in Raleigh.

The speaker's office said Moore, R-Cleveland, wrote to Trump two days after U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked Trump to cancel his address to Congress because of the ongoing partial government shutdown.

"The majestic character of our state House chamber and the splendor of North Carolina’s breathtaking landscapes are a fitting venue to deliver your second State of the Union address," Moore wrote.

The House chamber features bright red carpet and chandeliers that are, dare we say, one of the president's favorite colors – gold.

Moore noted that he attended last year's State of the Union in Washington, D.C., calling it "an unforgettable experience."

But taking that message "outside of the nation’s gilded capital to a state government venue" would reflect the priorities of this administration and the Congress, Moore wrote.

"To create success not only for federal institutions and programs but for the American people they serve," he wrote.

Other marks in North Carolina's favor, per Moore:

  • "Balanced" government. The Governor's Office is held by a Democrat, and the General Assembly is under GOP control
  • One of the 10 most populous states
  • "A welcoming place for all," including more than a million active-duty military or veterans

Moore even broke out the state toast: "The President of the United States is always welcome in the Old North State," he wrote, "where the weak grow strong and the strong grow great."

He went on to note then-President Bill Clinton's address to a joint session of the North Carolina General Assembly in 1997.

House Minority Leader Darren Jackson said he doesn't think the invitation is a good idea.

"Last thing NC needs is the DC circus in town," Jackson, D-Wake, said on Twitter late Friday afternoon. "POTUS should re-open the govt. Do disaster relief. Help farmers. Pay workers. Do his job. Then come visit."

Kimberly Reynolds, executive director of the North Carolina Democratic Party, called the invitation "a political stunt" intended to take attention away from Friday's news that FBI agents have reached out to at least two state legislators regarding an anonymous letter targeting the speaker.

“He should be using his office to advocate for those hurt by the government shutdown, not push a political stunt," Reynolds said in a statement. "This shutdown is hurting people trying to recover from recent hurricanes and forcing schools to ration our kids' lunches, and every North Carolina public official should be working to end it today.”