McCrory’s sad, desperate response to HB2 backlash

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Governor feigns ignorance, attacks the media, peddles patently false claims, and touts fake list of “businesses” supporting his embarrassingly bigoted new law

Gov. McCrory is in major damage control mode, amid a nationwide backlash to his new law stripping away LGBT rights and workplace discrimination protections, as well as overturning local minimum wage ordinances. But in trying to defend the indefensible, the governor has resorted to attacking the media, pushing false claims, and feigning ignorance about HB2’s wide-ranging impact.  

First, the McCrory campaign sent out a wildly misleading “fact check” about HB2 -- which earned the worst possible rating from WRAL’s own fact-checkers, and was widely criticized by other news outlets such as Indy Week and Chapelboro for its false claims.

Then, after blaming the media for the widespread backlash against his new law, Gov. McCrory claimed he was “blindsided” by a reporter’s question about HB2 overturning fair housing ordinances -- claiming ignorance about a law that he himself signed just a few days earlier.

Next, the governor tried to claim that “Every city has the exact same discrimination policy they had a few weeks ago.” This is patently false, given that local nondiscrimination ordinances in Buncombe, Mecklenburg, and Orange counties, as well as the cities of Asheville, Charlotte, Boone, Carrboro, Chapel Hill, Greensboro, and Raleigh all prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation -- and all were overturned by HB2.

“Either Gov. McCrory didn’t understand HB2 when he rushed to sign it last week, or he’s flat-out lying in a desperate attempt to counter the enormous backlash he caused,” said Gerrick Brenner, executive director of Progress NC Action. “As major employers speak out left and right against HB2, the desperate buffoonery of McCrory’s smoke-and-mirrors campaign would almost be funny if it wasn’t trying to defend bigotry and discrimination."

As Gov. McCrory struggles to defend HB2, the right-wing NC Values Coalition sent out a list of “over 300 businesses” which supposedly support the law. When questioned by the Greensboro News & Record, the group admitted their list of “businesses” was actually 300 private individuals. Of their followup list of 17 ACTUAL businesses, the largest -- Hanesbrand -- quickly asked to be taken off the list and clarified that they do NOT support HB2.

Meanwhile, dozens of major employers across the state are speaking out against HB2 and saying discrimination is bad for business. The list of anti-HB2 businesses includes four of the six largest private-sector employers in North Carolina (Duke University, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Lowe’s Home Centers) as well as major tech companies such as Red Hat, Citrix, IBM, Apple, and Facebook.

“This speaks to a personality problem for McCrory,” a national Republican operative told Politico. “North Carolina is a very informed state and if Fortune 500 companies are saying they don’t want to business to him, then voters are asking themselves, ‘Why do we want him as a governor?’”

Then, to top it all off, the NC Values Coalition sent out a mass email urging their supporters to repeatedly vote in an unscientific online survey by the Triangle Business Journal asking whether HB2 is bad for business. “This poll is important for us to win the court of public opinion,” said Tami Fitzgerald, urging her supporters to skew the poll’s results by repeatedly voting from as many different computers as possible.

“This desperate attempt to defend the indefensible is clear evidence that Gov. McCrory is panicking as more and more businesses speak out against HB2,” added Brenner. “The governor thought attacking the LGBT community would help him save his own political skin in November, but major employers across the state have made it clear that bigotry is bad for business in North Carolina.”


  1. Nancy Jeknins's avatar
    Nancy Jeknins
    | Permalink
    ONE TERM -- already too much time for McCrory to damage the state that we love.
  2. deb morris's avatar
    deb morris
    | Permalink
    Gov Mc Goofey and his legislators are trying to make NC a reflection of THEIR religious and political beliefs, which are dragging us backward. They are attempting to destroy public education, enact legislation that attacks minorities, keep "others" from voting, and follow the lead of the wealthy Koch brothers who want the rich to be richer, and the poor to be destitute. This is not good for NC, but that does not matter to them. The gov. is a Duke Progress Energy puppet who does not want them to be required to clean up the coal ash disaster, and who has changed NC law so solar power is not welcome. How much more damage is he going to do?
  3. C Frank Hassell, Jr's avatar
    C Frank Hassell, Jr
    | Permalink
    I agree with the entirity of this article, opinion or editorial, whichever it is.
  4. Randolph Lawrence's avatar
    Randolph Lawrence
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    "NC Values" needs to be stripped of its rights to name itself -- like Repugs frequently name bills -- with the exact opposite of its real intentions and plans. NC Values? NOT HARDLY. We don't like liars and cheats much hereabouts!
  5. W. E. Massey's avatar
    W. E. Massey
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    McCrory is such a loser! Did I say "loser"? I meant "lizard"!
  6. Gray Hunter's avatar
    Gray Hunter
    | Permalink
    “Either Gov. McCrory didn’t understand HB2 when he rushed to sign it last week, or he’s flat-out lying in a desperate attempt to counter the enormous backlash he caused,” <br /> <br /> Why not both? Y'know.... at the same time. Why even ask McCrory anything? Just go directly to Duke Power and Art Pope.
  7. anon's avatar
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    I can't believe how much hatred, bigotry, ignorance, and inequality of every kind was backed into this unconstitutional "law". I would have expected better from Donald Drumf!
  8. Linda Smith's avatar
    Linda Smith
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    So much hatred and bigotry in this unconstitutional law. What a continual embarrassment to North Carolinians and other Americans this legislature and our current governor is.
  9. rand's avatar
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    He's done this from the very beginning of his term as Governor. <br /> <br /> He blamed liberals, the NAACP and "outside agitators" for the fallout over voter ID and the Moral Monday protests. He blamed a liberal conspiracy for the outrage over his support of abortion restrictions. He blamed the powerful gay lobby for the reaction to Amendment One. He blamed teacher unions and liberal hippies for the budget cuts over education. <br /> <br /> He blamed the liberal media when the press started asking questions about conflicts of interest and cronyism with his management of Health and Human Services, the Duke coal ash spills, and the appointment of his benefactor, Art Pope, as Budget Director. <br /> <br /> Pope uses the same playbook - Pope tried to call in the police on a blogger, saying he was being physically threatened, because of a critical blog post. <br /> <br /> Everyone - including Republicans - are tired of McCrory and Pope's constant paranoia and blame shifting. There's only so long you can play the world's smallest violin and complain about being the victim before you start looking like an incompetent, thin-skinned nincompoop that can't take personal responsibility for anything.
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