With Gov. Pat McCrory’s approval lagging in polls – and being rebuffed by fellow Republicans in the General Assembly – a pro-McCrory group is starting TV ads Tuesday in Charlotte and two other North Carolina cities.
The Renew North Carolina Foundation, a group formed to support the governor and his agenda, is making what a spokesman calls a “significant,” six-figure investment in the ads, which will run through Oct. 7.
McCrory angered many North Carolinians this year by, among other things, signing controversial bills on voting and abortion. Last week the legislature overrode his two vetoes, which led to a testy exchange between the governor and GOP Senate leaders.
“We’re stepping on the toes of the left and the right to make tough necessary changes,” McCrory says in the ad.
McCrory also touts efforts to reduce taxes, improve vocational training, bring health care “to our most vulnerable citizens,” and help people get back to work. Foundation spokesman Brian Nick said the ad is “about building both public awareness and public support for that agenda.”
But Democrats and other critics had a different take.
A statement from Progress North Carolina Action, a liberal group, said the ad shows the governor “in full damage-control mode.”
The state Democratic Party questioned the very accomplishments for which McCrory took credit. The General Assembly and the governor rejected federal help for Medicaid recipients and took action that cut benefits for unemployed workers.
“Gov. McCrory and his political allies must really be spooked to go up on air three years out from his election,” said Micah Beasley, a spokesman for the state Democratic Party.
“The ad is a blatant distortion of the truth behind extremist policies imposed by the Republican General Assembly and rubber-stamped into law by Gov. McCrory.”
The ad comes less than a month after a poll by Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling found that 39 percent of voters approve of the way McCrory is doing his job while 51 percent disapprove. It was the first time his approval had fallen below 40 percent.
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