Democrats are seeking to tie Gov. Pat McCrory to presidential candidate Donald Trump’s recent comments about a judge in the Trump University lawsuit.
Trump has been rebuked by fellow Republicans for saying that the judge can’t be impartial because he’s “Mexican,” and Trump wants to build a wall along the Mexican border. The judge is Hispanic and was born in the United States.
McCrory this week said he’s supporting Trump because “I’ve said I would support the Republican nominee.” The governor has not directly addressed Trump’s comments about the judge.
“Our governor keeps just supporting Trump and buddying up with him and not even saying ‘those are terrible comments, he should not have made them,’” said Patsy Keever, chairwoman of the N.C. Democratic Party. “We don’t all like everything about whatever candidates we’re supporting, but when they do something as bad as what Trump has done, I think it behooves him to acknowledge those things are not OK.”
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McCrory campaign spokesman Ricky Diaz responded to the criticism in an email. “Mr. Trump does not speak for the governor and the governor does not speak for Mr. Trump,” Diaz said. “The governor does not condone disparaging comments against anyone, even reporters and editorial writers employed by McClatchy.”
McClatchy is the company that owns The News & Observer and the Charlotte Observer.
Meanwhile, McCrory’s Democratic opponent, Attorney General Roy Cooper, was scheduled to hold a fundraiser Thursday at the Washington, D.C. office of the law firm that’s representing Trump in the Trump University case.
O’Melveny & Myers is a international law firm, and the Cooper fundraiser is being hosted by one of its attorneys, Walter Dellinger, a former solicitor general and North Carolina native. U.S. Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia is also listed as a host.
“The host of the event has no involvement in that (Trump) case,” Cooper campaign spokesman Ford Porter said. “In fact, today’s event will help us deliver the message of how bad the Trump-McCrory ticket is for our state and our nation. The fact remains that while most Republicans are denouncing Trump’s unabashedly racist comments, Gov. McCrory has doubled down in his support.”
Diaz said the Cooper campaign’s focus on Trump is an effort to distract voters from positive developments in North Carolina.
“The governor is focused on things like creating jobs, improving education, helping our veterans, investing in infrastructure and addressing mental health in our state,” Diaz said in an email Wednesday night. “Just today, the governor’s office highlighted lower unemployment in all 100 counties. No wonder the Democrats and Roy Cooper want to talk about something else!”