Under the Dome

Cooper campaign jumps on McCrory’s Trump ‘role model’ remark

Roy Cooper’s campaign is out on Friday with an online ad tying Gov. Pat McCrory to Donald Trump, based on a brief comment the governor made during this week’s debate.

Moderator Chuck Todd of NBC News asked McCrory if Trump was a role model for children.

“Not his vulgar verbal outbursts,” McCrory replied. “I don’t like the personal attacks.”

“Any part of him make him a role model?” Todd asked.

“I think what makes him a role model is where he does stand strong on issues that need to be said, especially from outside Washington, D.C.” McCrory replied, referring to concerns over Syrian refugees in the U.S. as an example.

The ad extracts the role model reference, which was a point the Cooper campaign was hoping to score during the debate. The attorney general tried to make the connection a number of times during the debate, saying at one point, “Gov. McCrory and Donald Trump are a lot alike. They both have trouble with the facts and they both engage in divisive rhetoric.”

The digital ad connects McCrory’s remark to Trump’s recorded crude sexual remarks from 11 years ago.

McCrory also said during the debate that both presidential candidates should wash their mouths with soap.

“We’ve got some character issues among the two candidates, but I’m voting for the candidate that best represents my viewpoint,” the governor said.

When pressed by Todd on whether he thinks Hillary Clinton is honest, Cooper said he thought she was much more trustworthy than Trump and would not be as dangerous.

McCrory campaign spokesman Ricky Diaz said in an emailed response to Friday’s ad that “Cooper is even less honest than Hillary Clinton,” and pivoted to Hurricane Matthew recovery.

“I'm embarrassed that this is what the Cooper campaign is talking about when large parts of the state is under water,” Diaz said. “The real role models we should tell our children about are the brave law enforcement officers, first responders and national guard personnel literally saving lives in our state as we speak.”

Craig Jarvis: 919-829-4576, @CraigJ_NandO