To the two candidates for N.C. governor:
We are prepared to stipulate on this day in June that neither Republican Pat McCrory nor Democrat Roy Cooper is particularly enthusiastic about his party’s nominee for U.S. president.
This week, both gubernatorial campaigns spent too much of their time and ours trying to make an issue of the presidential candidates. McCrory’s side tweeted and sent out press releases wondering why Cooper was afraid to offer a full-throated endorsement of Hillary Clinton, who was declared the presumptive nominee this week.
Meanwhile, Cooper’s camp wondered why McCrory wasn’t denouncing Donald Trump for racist remarks about Gonzalo Curiel, the judge hearing the Trump University lawsuit.
Given the unpopularity of Trump and Clinton, this could go on all summer and fall.
We get the game being played here. Despite her primary win here, Clinton struggles with the independent voters Cooper needs to win. Donald Trump has his own issues, which McCrory would like to distance himself from. Everybody knows this, yet each campaign is trying to present the other candidate as avoiding a hard question.
It’s silly. Few people, if any, will cast their vote for governor based on who the gubernatorial candidate supports for president. So how about an agreed don’t ask/don’t tell on the presidential race. Call a moratorim on it from now until November. You might even spend some of that energy and time on ... issues.
The Observer editorial board