11/04/12 — Republican hopeful says election is not over yet

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Republican hopeful says election is not over yet

By Matthew Whittle
Published in News on November 4, 2012 1:50 AM

GOP gubernatorial candidate Pat McCrory made a brief stop in Goldsboro Friday afternoon -- just long enough to fire up a crowd of about 50 or so Republicans as they prepared to make the final push toward Election Day.

As he walked down the South Center Street sidewalk toward the county GOP headquarters, the crowd gathered outside began cheering, with many eagerly waiting their turn to shake his hand and have a photo taken.

Once inside, the former Charlotte mayor spoke briefly, reminding his supporters that the election had not been won yet -- despite his large lead in nearly every statewide poll.

"No matter what the polls say, I don't trust them, because I learned in '08 what happens when the other side gets out the vote and works the grassroots -- they win, and we don't," he said. "I'm not taking this for granted."

McCrory lost to Gov. Beverly Perdue in 2008.

Still, he continued, he does believe that as long as Republicans continue to work to get out the vote the tide will turn their way.

"Our message is resonating, not only among Republicans, but we have a lot of Democrats and Independents supporting us," he said.

And part of the reason for that, he said, is the fact that he and his campaign have remained positive and forward-looking, drawing a contrast to the negative ads run by his opponent, Democratic Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton.

"There is a sense of desperation, especially with my opponent. They're throwing everything out and seeing what sticks," McCrory said, pledging to continue to run only positive ads through Election Day. "We think that if you're elected the right way, you can govern the right way."

But in order to get that opportunity, he again told the crowd, "We've got to work to the end."

And not just for him, but for the all of the down-ballot races such as county commissioner and school board.

"I think they have the toughest job," he said.

If they are successful, though, he continued, they will be faced with helping him fulfill the tough task of "fixing this broken economy" -- and not just in the state's high profile areas such as Charlotte, the Triad and the Triangle, but in every county, including east of I-95.

"Beverly Perdue proved that just because you are from eastern North Carolina doesn't mean you're going to look out for eastern North Carolina. I plan to look out for the east and the rest of North Carolina," McCrory said, adding that if he had been elected in 2008, sales, income and corporate taxes wouldn't have all increased and perhaps the state wouldn't have ended up with the fifth highest unemployment rate in the nation.

"I wish we'd been elected four years ago. Now I have a second chance," he said.

And, working with a likely Republican majority in the state General Assembly, he plans to use it to pass energy policies, rein in regulation, reform the tax code, create a true transportation plan and support small businesses. He also said that he plans to spend nearly as much time "walking the halls of the Pentagon" in support of the Seymour Johnson Air Force Base and the state's other military installations as he does in Raleigh.

But he doesn't want those efforts to divide the state along party lines.

"Whether it's Republicans or Democrats, I want to work with a bipartisan team to make long-term, sustainable improvements -- not quick fixes. One thing I've learned is quick fixes don't work," he said. "I want to rebuild the private sector. If we do that, then we can pay for new teachers and new roads. That's the difference between me and my opponent. All he's selling are new government programs."

It will, however, take time and hard work to see those efforts pay off -- one reason why he pledged to be back in Goldsboro as governor.

"I'm going to be working with your business people and economic developers to develop long-term economic strengths. We want to grow, produce, build and innovate, and we're going to set up the environment to do that immediately," McCrory said. "I'm going to be coming back to Goldsboro. The first time I was here was in 1975. I was working construction building tennis courts (by Goldsboro High School at Herman Park). The people of Goldsboro, they were great then; they treated me great four years ago; and they're treating me great now."