Attorney General Roy Cooper, in a radio interview Friday, detailed his policy disagreements with the GOP-run legislature and Republican Gov. Pat McCrory, but maintained that he could and should defend in court state laws criticizes.
“I believe that is an important part of my job,” Cooper said in the WUNC program “The State of Things.” “Judges know the difference between policy and arguing the constitutionality of the law.”
McCrory has hired a South Carolina attorney with strong Republican ties to defend the state in a federal lawsuit against a new voting law. Republican legislators have also hired a law firm to defend the suit.
Cooper, a Democrat, is considering a run for governor in 2016.
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The state GOP didn’t think much of Cooper’s interview and, as it has in the past, disparaged him as a part-time Attorney General.
“North Carolina never expected to have a part-time Attorney General who spends more time running for governor and appeasing the fringe of his party than he does representing our state,” said GOP spokesman Daniel Keylin.
Cooper spoke out against the voting law before McCrory signed it, and said Friday it is a “hodgepodge of very bad ideas” that will make it harder for people to vote.
Cooper also criticized education spending under the GOP, and the decision this year to block 500,000 people from health insurance coverage under Medicaid.
“I am deeply concerned about the direction the state is heading,” he said.
Cooper punted on questions about SBI agents who mishandled murder cases.
“These are personnel matters,” Cooper said, and each has to be analyzed individually.