Gov. Pat McCrory decided Monday to throw the baseball around with one of his security guards, and even that became grist for controversy.
A Democratic group, called Progress NC, delivered 16,000 petitions to the governor's office on Monday criticizing the proposed cuts to education. The delegation, led by former Congressman Bob Etheridge and including a group of children, was told by an aide that he was busy in a meeting until 5 p.m.
But a short time after, one of the group took a picture of McCrory throwing the baseball around as his chief of staff, Thomas Stith looked on. The group said the photo was taken about 4:42 pm. The group soon distributed the picture with the headline:” Pat McCrory Throws Kids A Spit Ball. Governor Ducks Out of Capitol Office for A Game of Catch To Avoid Facing Children Petitioning Their Government.''
That is not what happened, according to Kim Genardo, the governor's spokeswoman. McCrory was meeting with a legislator when the group stopped by at 4:20. But the meeting finished up earlier than expected so that by 4:45 pm the governor had a few free minutes.
“The photo being circulated today by that liberal advocacy group was taken AFTER the petitions were dropped off at the Capitol,” Genardo said in a statement.
“Taking the advise of First Lady Michelle Obama, the governor each day attempts to get some exercise, yesterday throwing the baseball and today walking from NC State's campus back to the Capitol,” Genardo said.
“Governor McCrory will be back out tomorrow throwing the baseball perhaps with children who share his All-American passion,'' she said.