Gov. Pat McCrory headlined the Wake GOP annual convention at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh on Tuesday night, appealing to the party’s moderates.
As he has since he took office two years ago, McCrory said he sees himself as an “Eisenhower Republican.”
“We have a responsibility to help those who can’t help themselves, but encourage those who can,” he said, citing that as the motivation for cutting off extended unemployment benefits, but to keep Medicaid coverage for Alzheimer’s patients.
“Do you see the distinction? To me that is a basic Republican philosophy.”
McCrory also said true conservative ideals govern his efforts to find efficiencies in state government, reduce fraud in state employees workers compensation claims, invest in roads and buildings, improving longterm job opportunities by reducing regulations and reducing the skills gap between employment and job training.
The governor’s remarks received applause from the approximately 500 people in attendance.
Setting the stage for his re-election campaign, McCrory added, “I’m proud to be the 74th governor. I hope I continue in office. I’m having a great time -- except for a few odd circumstances.”
While not much of his speech covered new ground, the governor did end with a new joke and a new call to arms.
He invited the crowd to drop by the Governor’s Mansion any time. “Just say two burgers and two fries and a diet drink, and they’ll say ‘Come through the drive-in window. That’ll be $4.’”
As he left the stage amid applause, McCrory exhorted the party: “Keep fighting -- they’re trying to get us! They’re coming from all over!”
Also at the convention, delegates elected John Bryant as county party chairman, replacing Donna Williams. Bryant was a candidate for Wake County district attorney.