Front-running Pat McCrory may be doing the smart thing politically, but may also be planting land mines for a Governor McCrory.
Mark Binker of WRAL bore in with a story about Tuesday night’s debate that said: “McCrory didn’t describe how he would offset the tax cuts he proposes.”
Binker reported this exchange:
“Asked after the debate how he would pay for those tax cuts, McCrory answered, ‘I’ve discussed that with several reporters,’ saying that he’d be glad to do so again.
“Pressed on the question, ‘Well again, I’ve described that before and I’ll describe it again one-on-one at another time.’
“Asked a third time if he could answer the question, McCrory walked away saying, ‘I have answered the question’.”
My old friend Jack Hawke, a McCrory adviser, then took over and said: “You’re demanding the details. You’re demanding he put together something that will be dead on arrival.”
Dead on arrival? That doesn’t sound good.
Hawke added: “If you give every single detail of a tax plan, how is that a bipartisan, bringing people together? You can’t tell them (your political opposition) what you’re going to do. You have to bring them to the table and discuss, to come to the conclusions of what you’re ultimately going to do.”
Hold the mayo. Unless Hawke thinks Democrats are going to take the House or Senate, a Governor McCrory won’t have to deal with them. All he’ll need are Republican votes.
And there are only two ways to do what he proposes: Expand taxes on services or cut education spending.
Will Republican legislators go along with raising any taxes? If not, how many of them will be willing to cut education even more – and give Democrats a big issue for 2014?
If Republicans split, will McCrory need Democratic votes in the legislature?
So dodging the question presents two problems for McCrory. First, he can’t claim a mandate for a specific plan, because he didn’t give us one. Second, reporters have long memories when it comes to getting stiff-armed.