Under the Dome

Cooper ads slam McCrory for comments on Trump

Attorney General Roy Cooper is stepping up his efforts to tie Gov. Pat McCrory to presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Cooper’s campaign on Monday announced a digital ad campaign hammering the governor for his pledge to support the Republican presidential nominee even if it’s Trump. In a recent interview on Time-Warner Cable News, McCrory said he was staying out of that race but would back the party’s choice in the general election.

Political campaigns’ use of digital advertising — which includes banners and videos on websites and social media like Facebook — has been growing rapidly in recent years. Adweek recently reported on a study forecasting more than $1 billion will be spent on political ads in 2016, far less than on TV ads but way up from the $160 million spent on digital in 2012.

Cooper’s campaign wouldn’t disclose how much it’s spending on the ads.

The digital spots feature photos of McCrory and Trump, criticizing the presidential candidate for “divisive rhetoric.” “There’s no place for hate in NC,” one spot reads. “But does Gov. McCrory stand with everyday North Carolinians, or with Donald Trump and his shameful campaign?”

Cooper first invoked the “Trump-McCrory” administration upon winning the Democratic primary last week. The Republican Party has also tied Cooper to Hillary Clinton and her travails and political agenda.

Earlier Monday, the Democratic Governors Association announced a new website to publicize gubernatorial candidates’ positions on Trump’s nomination. According to the DGA, McCrory and seven other candidates have said they will support Trump if he is the nominee; nine haven’t taken a position; Phil Scott of Vermont said he would oppose Trump.

Ricky Diaz, spokesman for McCrory’s campaign, said the tactic was also used against McCrory when he ran for governor in 2012, at that time tying him to Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

“This is just more politics of the past from the campaign of a 30-year Raleigh insider who would rather talk about anything besides his plan to take North Carolina backwards – or his support of a socialist (Sen. Bernie) Sanders and a soon-to-be-indicted Clinton.