With shades of Clint Eastwood, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Walter Dalton debated an empty chair at a state NAACP forum Saturday.
With his Republican opponent, Pat McCrory, deciding to skip the forum, Dalton portrayed the former Charlotte mayor as someone who as governor would go along with the agenda of the Republican-controlled state legislature. (McCrory attended the State Fair and then attended a fund raiser in Gastonia.)
With two chairs set in front of the audience – one labled McCrory, Dalton, frequently criticized his opponent as “this empty chair.''
Dalton, the state's lieutenant governor, said he opposed many of the cuts instituted by the GOP legislature during the budget shortfall – particularly cuts to the public schools, the community colleges, the universities, student loans, and for health care.
“This empty chair supported all of that,” Dalton told the audience at the North Raleigh Hilton.
“He was a fan of George W. Bush,'' Dalton said. “He supported everything that's going on in the General Assembly. If he is elected governor, he will be be rubber stamp for all of these draconian policies.''
“He would be for the repeal of the Racial Justice Act,” Dalton said. “He would support voter suppression laws. He would support vouchers for private schools. And he did support those cuts for education and economic development
“I will not be a rubber stamp for anyone,” Dalton said. “I will protect the middle class and those wanting to get there.''