Perdue says messages aren't contradictory

Lt. Gov. Bev Perdue denied Friday that she's delivered contradictory messages about her support for Charlotte while campaigning across the state.

As she served dinner to senior citizens at New Outreach Christian Center off Rozzelles Ferry Road, Perdue said her campaign ad running outside the Charlotte TV market is critical of Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory, not the city.

The commercial, running in Eastern N.C. and Greensboro, accuses GOP gubernatorial candidate McCrory of putting Charlotte's transportation interests ahead of the rest of the state's. The ad suggests McCrory, if elected, will neglect road problems in rural areas.

Perdue reiterated her support for Charlotte and promised to raise the profile of the governor's office in the city if she is elected. She accused McCrory of suggesting that he doesn't believe some rural communities need roads. “We need leaders that understand that the problems and the challenges of urban North Carolina are vastly different than the challenges of rural North Carolina,” Perdue said. McCrory's campaign accused Perdue of altering her campaign message, depending on where her ads are running and where she is speaking.

“ … Now that's she's sinking in the polls, she's getting more and more desperate,” said Amy Auth, McCrory's communications aide. “Her latest approach is to pit one part of the state against another and then accuse Pat of doing the very same thing.

“When she's in Charlotte, she panders to the people here. When she's in another part of the state, she bashes Charlotte. On the other hand, Pat gives the same message everywhere he goes … ”

McCrory, Auth said, has called for a long-term transportation plan that takes into account safety, congestion and economic development needs of the entire state.

The race remains tight. A survey released Friday by Rasmussen Reports showed McCrory had 51 percent and Perdue with 47 percent. Libertarian Mike Munger was not included. The margin of error on the poll was plus or minus 4 percentage points.