By Ely Portillo, The Charlotte Observer
Former Charlotte mayor and N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory said Tuesday that he’s still considering the future of his new radio talk show, and that there’s a downside to being recognized in his longtime hometown.
“Yesterday, I got cussed out at a (pancake) restaurant,” said McCrory, in an interview with the Observer at Quail Hollow Club, where he was the keynote speaker at the annual meeting of the Charlotte Region Commercial Board of Realtors. “It was not fun. In fact, it felt dangerous… I responded, “God bless you, you need to clean up your language.’ ”
During his address, McCrory said his biggest disappointment from his time in the governor’s mansion is not getting transportation funds into a massive bonds package for voters.
“My biggest failure as governor was not getting transportation on the bonds,” said McCrory. The $2 billion bonds package ended up including funds for higher education, state parks and other infrastructure.
Since losing a close election last year to Gov. Roy Cooper, McCrory has mostly kept a low profile. But on Tuesday it was clear that he was back in prime Charlotte form, fist-bumping a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department official, promising a developer to meet up at Selwyn Pub and hugging old friends and acquaintances.
In September, McCrory started doing short morning radio spots on WBT-AM (1110), and he’s now landed a regular spot weekdays from 9 to 10 a.m. McCrory has said he plans to broadcast during his new time slot for at least a few months, while weighing job possibilities.
McCrory said he hasn’t committed to the radio spot past December, but hopes the show will offer listeners an insider’s view on the news, without rehashing partisan talking points.
“I’m trying to give more of the inside information about how (decisions) are being made and why they’re being made,” said McCrory. “I’d almost like to title my show ‘No Talking Points.’ ”
McCrory served as mayor of Charlotte for seven terms, a period of rapid growth when the city built the first leg of the Blue Line light rail, expanded the airport and the uptown basketball arena. His term as governor was marked by controversies such as House Bill 2, the state law that preempted local LGBT protections, and the Interstate 77 toll lane project.
“Everyone’s trying to stir emotions, and we all need to take a deep breath,” said McCrory.