April 15, 2021/Media, Press

“Ugly” GOP Primary Heats Up As McCrory Enters #NCSEN, Walker Wastes No Time “Coming Out Swinging”

Pat McCrory’s entrance into North Carolina’s Republican battle for U.S. Senate in 2022 was met with attacks from both sides as the “ugly” primary continues to take shape, with new polling showing McCrory “badly trailing” in a hypothetical contest.

The failed politician turned radio show host will have to “maneuver carefully” in this uphill climb through the primary. The “most pressing question” will be “how much or how little space there is between him and Donald Trump” compared to his primary opponent, former congressman Mark Walker, “who boasts about voting alongside Trump 97% of the time.” 

McCrory has sought to dodge questions about the disgraced former president and their relationship, but that hasn’t stopped Walker from “coming out swinging.” In a series of tweets, Walker insulted McCrory’s losing record as a “career politician” and fired shots about McCrory’s difficulty finding a job after he lost the governor’s race: “If Pat wasn’t good enough for the Trump administration, he’s not good enough for our state.” And Walker isn’t the only Republican that McCrory has to worry about — Freedom Caucus Congressman Ted Budd, far-right Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson, and Lara Trump are all considering joining the fray.

McCrory’s failed governing record in Raleigh is once again under a spotlight as the News & Observer wrote: “HB2 came to define his final year in office” and “led to a backlash” from businesses that hurt North Carolina’s reputation. 

Just yesterday, on the same day as McCrory’s announcement, the Republican-controlled North Carolina legislature was debating controversial bills targeting trans youth for partisan political games — an issue that McCrory is now desperate to avoid talking about.

This Kevin Siers cartoon sums it up:

Read more about “North Carolina’s sore loser.” 

News & Observer: As McCrory returns to political arena, transgender rights debates again at the fore — “Former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory is back in the political arena and, so too, are transgender rights issues that defined his final year in office…Democrats, in their first messages after McCrory’s entry into the race, tried to re-litigate the issue…McCrory ‘was voted out of office after he embarrassed North Carolina on the national stage while costing the state thousands of jobs.’”

News & Observer: Former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory announces bid for US Senate seat in 2022 — “McCrory, again with state lawmakers, refused to expand Medicaid, cut unemployment benefits and passed a voter ID law that was later overturned for targeting Black citizens — drawing the ire of Democrats.”

Politics NC: THE TRUMP PRIMARY IS TAKING SHAPE — “It’s very hard for me to take Pat McCrory seriously. He’s not a very bright guy and he proved as governor that he has little backbone or conviction… He’s Thom Tillis without the smarts—an ideological weather vane.”

Axios Charlotte: Pat McCrory is running for Senate — “McCrory, known as a moderate throughout his time as ‘Mayor Pat,’ has been complimentary of the former president, but hardly to the degree of Walker, who boasts about voting alongside Trump 97% of the time…McCrory’s relationship with HB2, the notorious law he signed that led to a nationwide boycott of North Carolina in 2016…will no doubt loom large in a general election, should he get there.”

Associated Press: Former North Carolina Gov. McCrory enters US Senate race — “The ex-governor will have to maneuver carefully in regards to Donald Trump, who also won North Carolina’s electoral votes in 2016. Trump remains very popular among the GOP faithful and continues to promote unsubstantiated accusations of voter fraud during the 2020 election. McCrory said Wednesday he hoped to have a ‘good discussion’ with him but stopped short of saying whether he would expressly seek the ex-president’s endorsement…Walker, meanwhile, has embraced Trump…A Lara Trump candidacy, with a likely endorsement from her father-in-law, would turn the GOP primary upside down.”

WFAE: Former NC Gov., Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory Running For Senate — “North Carolina Democratic Party Chair Bobbie Richardson quipped that McCrory shouldn’t ‘quit (his) day job.’ ‘North Carolinians remember exactly who Pat McCrory is — a failed politician who signed hateful and divisive legislation into law, hurt our national reputation, and damaged our state’s economy,’ Richardson said in a statement Tuesday morning.”