McCrory: I’ve talked with NC capitol protesters
RALEIGH (AP) — Gov. Pat McCrory says he has often entered the crowds at the North Carolina capitol protesting decisions he and Republican legislative leaders advocate, and gotten cussed out in the process.
McCrory said during a visit to Wilson on Wednesday that he welcomes protesters, but his interactions haven’t been pleasant.
“I go out in the crowd all of the time. Frankly, yesterday I went out and talked to several of them and they were not very respectful. They did not represent the majority of people who call themselves moral by cussing me out, but, you know, that’s the way things go sometimes,” McCrory said in an interview with The Wilson Times.
McCrory said last month he had no desire to meet with protesters. There have been no previous reports of the governor engaging with demonstrators. A McCrory spokeswoman did not respond to multiple messages seeking comment on Thursday.
Near-weekly demonstrations opposing polices advanced by the legislature’s Republican majority have gone on in Raleigh for nearly three months and led to more than 700 arrests. The North Carolina chapter of the NAACP has called the demonstrations starting each week “Moral Monday.” Their aim is spotlighting GOP-backed legislation rejecting the expansion of Medicaid to the working poor, slashing benefits to the unemployed, eliminating jobs in public education and placing restrictions on voting.
Demonstrators also flocked to the legislative building Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday to protest legislation increasing regulation of abortion clinics, which critics say would force many to close.