Gov. Pat McCrory has largely avoided holding press conferences about House Bill 2 in recent weeks, opting instead to release short video statements.
In public events on unrelated topics Monday and Wednesday, McCrory declined to take questions from reporters on House Bill 2. His executive order calling for tweaks to the LGBT law Tuesday was announced in a YouTube video.
McCrory’s longest news conference since signing the bill happened March 28 and lasted about six minutes. During that event, he told a reporter that “you’re blindsiding me” with a question about the law’s impacts on local ordinances.
One of the only interviews McCrory has granted took place Tuesday with Tim Boyum of Time Warner Cable News. Here are some highlights of the governor’s comments on developments and backlash over the law:
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On why he’s calling for changes to the law: “When I signed the bill, I knew there would have to be corrections in this bill.” But he signed it anyway because “we were up against the April 1 deadline of the new Charlotte ordinance. I was not going to block the state legislature’s efforts to deal with that issue.”
On his decision to add sexual orientation and gender identity to categories of state employees protected from discrimination: “We were already doing it. I know of no cases where we’ve discriminated against someone in hiring since I’ve been governor. ... I said, what’s it hurt to add it?”
On why he thinks that nondiscrimination mandate shouldn’t apply to private sector employers: “It’s not government’s role to write a generic employment policy for the thousands of businesses that we have in the state of North Carolina. ... If you happen to disagree with (employment practices), then let the business know that, maybe by your pocketbook or other things.”
On companies opposing House Bill 2 and canceling expansions: “They don’t quite understand. Once I explain it to them, they go, ‘that’s common sense, what’s the point?’”
On Bruce Springsteen’s canceled Greensboro concert: “I still do like Bruce Springsteen’s music. He’s much more liberal than I am, always has been. I think he made a mistake not coming to Greensboro. I don’t think he quite understands the bill. Maybe Bruce has lost touch with the working men and women as he makes multi-millions of dollars.”
On the fate of the NBA All-Star Game in Charlotte: “I’ve had conversations and we’ll see. They and other organizations are getting a great deal of pressure.”
On public protests: “You haven’t seen me out here protesting even with people I agree with, because what I have been doing is working on a common sense solution.”
On the national LGBT groups lobbying against House Bill 2: Human Rights Campaign “is one of the most powerful special interest lobbying groups, well funded, in the United States of America, and they’ve put their total forces for whatever reason on North Carolina.”
Video of the complete interview is available here.