McCrory: 'I hope to' run for governor in 2012

Posted February 18, 2011 5:58 p.m. EST
Updated February 18, 2011 7:57 p.m. EST

— Former Charlotte mayor Pat McCrory indicated Friday that he plans to run for governor again next year.

McCrory, a Republican, lost a close race to Gov. Beverly Perdue in 2008 and is widely seen as a top challenger to her re-election bid next year.

"I hope to. I really want to," McCrory said Friday when WRAL News anchor David Crabtree asked him during a taping of "On the Record" whether he planned another gubernatorial campaign.

He criticized Perdue for what he called a lack of leadership during her first two years in office.

"I agree with the governor that, if any state can recover from the recession, it is North Carolina. We have the natural resources. We have the talent. We have the universities. What we need now is strong leadership," he said. "We wasted the first two years of the governor's term on, I think, a lack of leadership. When she had control of ... the House, Senate and executive branch, we could have made some real change."

Republicans seized control of the General Assembly last November after decades of Democratic leadership.

McCrory openly acknowledged his disappointment at losing the 2008 election, but he said he has no regrets.

"I'm so glad I ran in 2008. Even though we lost, I think we've had an impact on some of the policies that are now being initiated. In fact, I think some of the things that Gov. Perdue announced in her budget is probably in anticipation of things we've been saying since 2008," he said, citing her call to reduce North Carolina's corporate tax rate.

McCrory said he closely monitors state politics, including moves by House Speaker Thom Tillis, a good friend of his who has been under fire for the past week for holding a closed -door caucus meeting on video poker.

"I think in the future it would be more wise to open up the meeting and let people hear the debate, especially on such an important and divisive issue," McCrory said. "I would strongly recommend that they open up those types of meetings. It's a great debate to have the people both for and against – representatives from the Family Research Council to video poker lobbyists – in a room together, and I'm not sure that's ever happened before."