Thursday, May 24, 2012

McCrory accepts Observer's challenge; Dalton ducks

Pat McCrory, the Republican candidate for N.C. governor, this afternoon accepted the challenge we posed in our editorial this morning: To keep his political ads fair throughout this campaign. His opponent, Democrat Walter Dalton, ducked the question.

The Observer editorial board urged McCrory and Dalton, and candidates in other races, to pledge "not to run ads that are clearly unfair (and) to denounce sleazy ads from independent groups."

This afternoon, McCrory, a Republican who is ahead in the polls, agreed and called on Dalton, a Democrat, to as well.

“This election should be about the serious issues facing our state and two competing visions for North Carolina,” McCrory said. “There’s enough that differentiates Lt. Governor Walter Dalton and I [sic] without having to resort to airing sleazy and unfair ads that don't tell the truth in an attempt to tear down the opponent."

Dalton spokesman Ford Porter then issued a statement that declined to take a position on the pledge.

"We're glad McCrory's got an opinion on something," Porter's statement said. "This election should be about the serious issues facing our state and two competing visions for North Carolina. Pat McCrory should stop talking out of both sides of his mouth and join Walter Dalton in debating the issues that matter in North Carolina: jobs and education."

UPDATE: Walton Robinson, a spokesman for the N.C. Democratic Party, issued a statement this afternoon saying McCrory had made and broken the same promise in 2008. He said McCrory "has a history of negative campaigning," but could point only to one radio ad McCrory ran late in the 2008 campaign that accused then-Lt. Gov. Bev Perdue of seeking to spend road money on a teapot museum, a charge that was not accurate.

McCrory's campaign is challenging a TV ad paid for by the Democratic Governors Association that suggests McCrory unethically tried to help a company on whose board he sat. The campaign has asked the FCC to intervene and is threatening to sue stations that continue to air it.

Shortly after that ad hit the airwaves, a Raleigh pollster, Dustin Ingalls, told a Democratic group in Fayetteville:
“To win, we have to raise a lot of money, first of all, and we have to absolutely eviscerate McCrory. There’s no way to prop up Dalton enough. We have to just slash McCrory – death by a thousand cuts.” He added: “It’s going to have to be a very negative campaign.”

For their part, the Republican Governors Association launched the first TV ad of the campaign with a spot that makes very selective use of statistics to link Dalton to job losses, in a way that experts told WRAL was “lazy economic analysis.”

That was all a bad sign to us, prompting the editorial challenging the candidates to have a little more respect for voters. Negative ads have their place; highlighting an opponent's record is fair game, and can be helpful to voters -- if it is true. But often those ads cross a line, using innuendo or lack of context or other tricks to mislead.

Where that line lies is in the eye of each viewer, of course. We're encouraged that McCrory has agreed to run a fair campaign and denounce those groups that don't, and wish Dalton would as well. Now we just hope that McCrory's idea of where to draw that line is not wildly different from where most North Carolinians would.

-- Taylor Batten

10 comments:

EuroCat said...

When McCrory breaks his "pledge", which he is gua-ran-teed to do with his very next commercial, will you call him on it?

Or will you simply gloss it over, all part of the O's adoration of All Things Pat?

Observer editorial board said...

Of course we will.

CharlotteIn2012 said...

It started out as a fair editorial, then at the last line, which is the most important line in any story, the Observer just had to get that little dig in.

Skippy said...

3:36 try reading the piece again, or have someone read it to you. The pond scum left have to ge negative, just like the clown in the White House will have to do. They have nothing to run on, zip, notta, nothing. But in other news the real hero of the Bin Laden raid besides our military. the Pakanstani Dr that identified Bid Laden through DNA samples has been put in prison for a mere 33 years. I am sure President coward will be speaking on that any day now.

CharlotteIn2012 said...

Of course they will on McCrory.

Europeanexpat said...

Nice. McCrory just cornered himself the same way McCain did in 2008. Now Dalton can run anything, but when Pat responds he'll be chastized by CO as breaking his pledge. What a stupid move

Europeanexpat said...

Nice. McCrory just cornered himself the same way McCain did in 2008. Now Dalton can run anything, but when Pat responds he'll be chastized by CO as breaking his pledge. What a stupid move

kantstanzya said...

Wow. I'm saving that quote from Dustin Ingalls. Sounds like he went to an Obama political training school recently.

One can only imagine the Observer's comment had the GOP said anything remotely like that. The Observer's stern rebuke to the Dems?...."we wish Dalton would (agree to run a fair campaign) as well". Way to tell him off! And then a final caution to McCrory... the one who actually did agree! Geeze.

Now if McCrory does not live up to whatever the Observer standard of fairness is he can be called out both for negative campaigning and for lying that he wouldn't do it.

Wonder what the Observer thinks about Obama's negative ads looking for things to attack Romney on personally because, like Dalton, "Obama nor his record can be propped up enough...so we have to absolutely eviscerate and slash Romney"?

Ghoul said...

but could point only to one radio ad McCrory ran late in the 2008 campaign that accused then-Lt. Gov. Bev Perdue of seeking to spend road money on a teapot museum, a charge that was not accurate.


What is not accurate about that? Bev raided the Highway Trust Fund, like all Democrats have done for 40 years, to balance the budget. Part of that budget was for a teapot museum in a Democrat Senator's district. Its obvious she believed NC needed a teapot museum more than roads.

Don't forget she also used NC taxpayer funds to rebuild her daddy's private pier that was destroyed in a hurricane.

John Petrey said...

NOT a fan of the CO's typically liberal media bias.. However, I will stand up and say THANK YOU Observer for encouraging this campaign strategy from BOTH sides. I will be happy to eat some crow if you guys stick with this.

Good job