Gov. Pat McCrory started his trip to Washington with an interview on MSNBC's "Daily Rundown" with Chuck Todd, saying he is concerned about the affect of the federal budget sequestration on the state's military bases.
"We don't know what the real impact is going to be right now," he said.
(An advocacy group warning about the cuts recently cited a U.S. Senate report from 2011 showing that it will cost the state $1.5 billion in defense contracts and 11,000 jobs, and non-defense cuts are expected to cost nearly 1 million jobs nationwide and reduce the state's gross domestic product by as much as $2 billion.)
In the six and a half minute segment, McCrory suggested Congress needs to emulate him when it comes to budgeting. "I've been locked up in a room as governor for the past several weeks in a room with no curtains ... just doing work and that's what I want the president and Congress to do," he said. (McCrory is drafting his budget but he's surely left the room for good parts of the past few weeks, according to his public calendar.)
McCrory reaffirmed his decisions to cut unemployment benefits to pay down the state's debt to the federal government sooner and block Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act.
For the state to expand the program, McCrory said the federal government would need to give the state more flexibility when it comes to how Medicaid is administered and the costs to the recipients.
As for the tone of Republican Party these days, McCrory agreed it needs to change. "I think sometimes we come across as too negative," he said. "I think sometimes we come across as too strident."
The appearance -- which wasn't noticed on McCrory's schedule Friday -- appears to be the first national interview since he appeared on Bill Bennett's radio program in which he made controversial comments about "educational elite" taking over higher education in North Carolina and questioned whether the state should fund liberal arts courses like gender studies.
Todd didn't mention the issue in the interview.