At several points during a debate on WTVD in Durham tonight, the Republican gubernatorial candidate tried to link the current governor and the lieutenant governor who was sitting next to him.
The references grew steadily in intensity, with McCrory making a few references to problems in the "current administration and the current leadership" on mental health reform and immigration.
At other times, he referred to a general culture of corruption in Raleigh.
He first mentioned Easley by name about halfway through the debate after a direct question from the moderators about recent criticism of Easley, portraying himself as a more open and accessible governor.
Perdue made no mention of Easley during the debate, but afterward she told reporters that McCrory was misrepresenting her position in state government.
As an separately elected lieutenant governor with mostly formal duties in the Senate, Perdue said that she was an "independent agent" in state government who freelanced for the governor on education, health care and protecting the state's military bases.
"I'm not a part of the Cabinet or administration," she said.