Gov. Pat McCrory’s defense of HB2 continues, this time on the big stage that is NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
North Carolina continues to grab national attention for the bill Gov. McCrory signed into law, which overturned Charlotte and other city’s non-discrimination ordinances, allowing for the discrimination of the LGBT community and others.
The show’s host Chuck Todd hit back at McCrory’s attempts at explaining away his actions.
McCrory called Charlotte’s expansion of the non-discrimination ordinance to include protections for LGBT people “government overreach,” to which Todd replied, “You say Charlotte overreached, how did the state of North Carolina, the state government not overreach in just the same way?”
McCrory had referenced Houston earlier, where voters overturned similar LGBT protections in a referendum. Todd pointed out that voters made that decision, adding, “You could make a case, voters made the decision in Charlotte. Charlotte rejected it, then elected two new members of the city council (who were for the expanded ordinance), this has been a long debate in the city of Charlotte. This is where they came down. You guys debated for like ten seconds.”
When McCrory tried to counter that the debate in Charlotte was simply speakers for and against voicing their opinions, Todd clarified that he was referring to the citywide debate that took place before the vote that night.
The governor then returned to one of his favorite talking points of late, that there wasn’t “outrage toward Charlotte when they turned it down initially” and that there “wasn’t outrage toward Houston, Texas” when voters went against the ordinance in that city.
He then moved on to speak about the disconnect between the business sector who is largely against HB2 and “Main Street,” which he argues is mostly for the bill. His example for this was telling a story about going to an “African American buffet restaurant,” whatever that is, where he reports being welcomed “with open arms,” while being thanked for “protecting them.”
He called for more dialogue, an ironic thing to say when he seems not to be hearing the outrage from many of the citizens in his state.
A recent poll by WRAL-TV, SurveyUSA found that most North Carolinians want to see HB2 either partially or completely repealed.
Another poll, by Time Warner Cable, found that a slim majority were in favor of North Carolina’s action to overturn Charlotte LGBT non-discrimination ordinance, but that most of the respondents viewed Gov. McCrory more negatively due to his handling of the law. Conversely, the majority said they now have a more favorable view of his opponent in the November gubernatorial race, Attorney General Roy Cooper, who is in favor of repealing HB2.
The WRAL-TV, SurveyUSA poll found McCrory trailing his Democratic challenger by four percentage points among likely voters, and found that 43 percent approve of the job McCrory is doing as governor versus 47 percent who disapprove. 53 percent of respondents approve of the job Roy Cooper is doing as Attorney General, with just 25 percent saying they disapprove.
McCrory admitted to Todd that he did not want a special session over HB2, but defended the General Assembly’s decision to do so. He pointed out that Charlotte’s expanded ordinance was set to go into effect on April 1, a few weeks before the regular session was set to start, on April 25. He explained that their lawyers felt it would be harder to overturn the ordinance once it had gone into effect.
Todd asked him if he met with any transgender people before signing HB2 into law. McCrory admitted that he did not before signing it into law but says that he has met with some in the past and since. Yet he is still, including in this interview, referring to transgender women as men.
McCrory also defended the portion of the bill that prohibits cities from increasing their minimum wage, saying he didn’t “impose new regulations” during his time as mayor of Charlotte, adding, “I don’t think the government ought to be the HR director for every business.”