Democratic gubernatorial nominee Walter Dalton ripped into Republican opponent Pat McCrory and the GOP legislature Saturday, saying their state budget cuts are partly responsible for the state's economic situation.
"Pat McCrory apparently talks with (legislative leaders) every day," Dalton said. "He's been their cheer leader for failed policies. ...We can't let Pat McCrory and his allies destroy our economy."
Dalton did his best to rev up the state Democratic convention Saturday afternoon in Raleigh where roughly 1,200 delegates gathered in a cavernous room that left dozens of chairs empty. (By comparison, the N.C. GOP convention had about 1,700 delegates.)
He took a shot at Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, saying he only wants to create jobs in the Cayman Islands. As for McCrory, Dalton said his rival has had "too much tea to drink. He's pandering to the tea party."
McCrory spokesman Brian Nick responded in a statement: "Walter Dalton's partisan rant and angry political rhetoric will sound very familiar to North Carolinians considering it's what we've been hearing from Governor Perdue over the last three and a half years. Walter Dalton and Beverly Perdue might be satisfied with a North Carolina economy that has the fourth worst unemployment rate in the country, but Pat McCrory believes our state can be an economic leader again and he is focused on outlining his vision to fix our state's broken economy every day."
Dalton stood on stage with controversial party Chairman David Parker to his left. Dalton repeatedly suggested Parker needed to resign his post amid a sexual harassment scandal at the party. But he didn't touch the issue Saturday. As he left the stage he shook Parker's hand and patted him on the back.
--John Frank and Jim Morrill, staff writers