Thursday, November 3, 2011

GOP chairman jumps the gun on Foxx-Perdue race

I guess we should be offended that Robin Hayes, who has lived in this area much of his life and represented part of Charlotte in Congress, doesn’t know the name of this newspaper. But I’m even more puzzled that he could take, from Mayor Anthony Foxx’s chat with Observer readers today, that Foxx might run against Gov. Bev Perdue in a Democratic primary challenge next spring.

After the Observer hosted a live online chat between readers and Foxx, N.C. Republican Party chairman Hayes issued a press release saying Foxx should make clear before Tuesday’s election whether he’s running for governor next year. (He also said Foxx was asked about that during a “Charlotte News and Observer” chat.)

“Anthony Foxx is running for mayor next week, but the way he answered those chat room questions make [sic] it look like he has his eyes on other offices.”

Really? Foxx could have been even clearer, I suppose, but you be the judge: Do these responses suggest Foxx has his eyes on other offices?

A reader asked: “Would you consider challenging Beverly Perdue in a primary next year?”
Foxx responded: “I am happy being the mayor of Charlotte.”

That leaves him wiggle room. But then a reader said: “You did not answer the question about challenging Gov Perdue. Would you promise not to run against her in a primary?”
Foxx replied: “Until you asked the question, I had never given the matter a second of thought. So, no.”

OK, he should have said, “So, yes” but his intent was clear. And he told Observer political reporter Jim Morrill that when he said no, he meant no, he wasn't challenging Perdue. His campaign manager, Michael Halle, told POLITICO unequivocally that Foxx is not running against Perdue.

Another reader asked Foxx if he supports Perdue as the party’s nominee next year and Foxx listed many of the great things he thinks she has done.

It’s a newspaper’s job to be skeptical, and there's little doubt Foxx has higher ambitions at some point. But Hayes is having to stretch pretty hard to imagine a nascent Foxx plot to dethrone Perdue.

UPDATE: GOP spokesman Rob Lockwood said it was he, not Hayes, who deserves blame for misnaming the newspaper.

Taylor Batten

2 comments:

Cedar Posts said...

Taylor,

Old guys, Hayes is 66, who where around when both the "News" and "Observer" were in print have habits that are hard to break.

Spending too much time in Raleigh doesn't help either.

It might be The Observer to you but to those of us who had a paper route after school and not before it will always be the Charlotte "News" and Observer.

cltindependent said...

He said he's not running for Governor and I believe him. Robin Hayes still has sour grapes over being more of a Republican than a North Carolinian and having Larry Kissell take his seat in Congress. Pat McCroy ran for Governor the most of his last term as mayor. What's Robin Haye's stance on that?