SMITHFIELD — Pat McCrory repeatedly referred to Chris Christie as boss, which could have been a reference to the New Jersey governors sometimes blustery style, New Jerseys mob image or even Christies well-known love of rocker Bruce Springsteen.
Christie, in turn, repeatedly referred to the Republican McCrory as the next North Carolina governor and, playing to regional stereotypes, quipped that he was going to come down and get in some peoples faces if North Carolina didnt go red on Nov. 6.
The Eastern North Carolina crowd of 5,000 ate up the political odd couple the former Charlotte mayor and the New Jersey governor at a rally Friday night.
Christie also called North Carolina a state of consequences in the presidential race, and urged its citizens to give President Barack Obama a plane ticket home to Chicago.
The rally was part of stepped-up efforts by Republicans to turn out their voters. South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson gave a pep talk in North Raleigh on Thursday. Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant will tour Republican campaign offices in Asheboro, Lexington, Mooresville and Marion on Saturday. Volunteers also will be out this weekend, urging supporters to vote early.
With polls showing McCrory with a comfortable lead on his Democratic rival, Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton, the rally also was a chance to give a boost to Republicans further down the ballot.
The event had the flavor of hundreds of old-fashioned Eastern North Carolina political rallies held in a cavernous tobacco warehouse, with barbecue and bluegrass music. The only difference was it was sponsored by Republicans.
Chris Christie, declared McCrory. I love the smell of tobacco in the evening in North Carolina.
McCrory promised to work with Christie to repeal the new health care law, proposed by Obama and passed by Congress.
When I become governor, I am going to work with Chris Christie on several things, he said. The first thing we are going to do is overturn Obamacare.
U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, the states highest-ranking Republican, introduced McCrory as honest.
Thats important after the administration that is getting ready to leave Raleigh, Burr said, prompting some of the biggest cheers of the night.
During the evening, N.C. Supreme Court Justice Paul Newby was heavily promoted, with speaker after speaker touting his candidacy.
If Newby loses his state Supreme Court race to Court of Appeals Court Judge Sam Ervin IV, the court would shift to Democratic control, and Republicans fear their redistricting plan could be overturned.
Everything good we have done in the state legislature is for naught if Judge Newby is not elected, said state Sen. David Rouzer, the 7th district congressional candidate challenging incumbent Democratic Rep. Mike McIntyre.
Burr, who brought Newby to the microphone for a few words, said, North Carolina cant stand to lose a conservative member of the court.
House Speaker Thom Tillis said, his election may be the most important election in this election cycle.