Under the Dome

NC Transportation Secretary Tony Tata blasts Iran talks, Twitter critic

N.C. Department of Transportation Secretary Tony Tata was on Fox News Friday night criticizing President Barack Obama’s nuclear talks with Iran.

Tata, who’s become a regular commentator on Sean Hannity’s show, said he doesn’t think the United States should be in negotiations with Iran.

“This administration has just eliminated Hezbollah and Iran from terror threats in the national security report,” Tata told Hannity. “You have to wonder if that’s some kind of quid pro quo or opening gambit in the negotiations that Secretary (of State John) Kerry is doing. How can they not be listed as a terror threat? I don’t know what pie-in-the-sky world we’re living in right now, but this is ridiculous.

“This is an oppressive regime that wants to destroy Israel and the United States.”

Tata, who’s introduced on Fox as the author of “Foreign and Domestic” and a retired general, has been criticized by some on the left who say the dual roles are inappropriate for a member of Gov. Pat McCrory’s cabinet. But McCrory has given his blessing, and Tata has said the after-hours appearances don’t interfere with his day job.

Tata had a strong response later Friday when a Raleigh Democratic strategist criticized his Hannity appearance on Twitter.

When Perry Woods – who’s worked on campaigns for Raleigh city councilors and Wake County school board members – told him to “focus on your day job,” Tata called Woods a “radical left pol hack” who “hates freedom of speech.”

The late night internet exchange continued from there:

(NOTE of clarification: Fox News says Tata is a guest when he appears on its shows. He is not a paid employee of Fox News.)