Skip to comments.(NC Gov) Perdue says her point was 'sarcasm'
Posted on 09/29/2011 4:44:03 AM PDT by abb
Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue has long had a reputation for shoot-from-the-hip remarks that leave her audiences shaking their heads, part of her folksy, I'm-just-a -coal-miner's-daughter persona.
But none of her previous comments hit a political nerve like her startling suggestion this week that Congress suspend its elections next year to concentrate on fixing the economy.
In the connected digital age, her remarks - made in response to an audience question at the Cary Rotary Club and reported online by The News & Observer - leaped across the Internet and were soon the subject of a provocative headline on the Drudge Report, scathing commentary by Rush Limbaugh, and dark warnings in the blogosphere by the conspiratorial minded of the coming of a "Banana Republic."
On Wednesday, Perdue continued to try to walk back her comments, which her staff initially described on Tuesday as hyperbole.
"My point was one of sarcasm," Perdue told reporters in Thomasville. "We really just need to encourage our leaders who are elected to work together and solve America's problems."
She added: "It was taken out of context from my perspective. But honest to goodness, who would think something like that would be said seriously. It's ridiculous to have this kind of discussion about it."
But Republicans and other critics were not going to let her off the hook so easily.
"In light of Gov. Perdue's support for suspending Congressional elections, I want to state clearly, on the record, that I do NOT support suspending our next gubernatorial election," said Republican Senate leader Phil Berger.
"The next time they tell you how stupid Sarah Palin is or Michele Bachmann, just think back to this day and North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue," said Limbaugh, the conservative talk show host.
Former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory, who is expected to challenge Perdue next year, said the governor should admit she made a mistake and apologize. But he now is using the remark to raise money for his forthcoming campaign.
"It's one thing for Governor Perdue to suggest that we should suspend congressional elections as a very odd approach to getting the economy moving," McCrory said. "It's an entirely different thing for the governor to get her staff to cover up her blatant mistake by saying she was joking."
(Perdue's staff never said the governor was joking. The word was used in a headline by some media, including The News & Observer.)
Michael Munger, who as the Libertarian candidate ran against Perdue in 2008, said it was clear that Perdue was not serious and that even if her proposal was nonsensical, she had a valid point.
"The reaction proves her point," said Munger, a Duke University science professor. "Is that what we should all be arguing about? An off-the-cuff remark instead of what we need do to improve the economy and the situation of the country and the state?"
For Perdue this was not her first gaffe. In fact, it was not even her first gaffe that day. Earlier on Tuesday, at an appearance in Raleigh, she referred several times to Raleigh Denim co-founder Victor Lytvinenko as "David."
When Perdue is off script, it is often an adventure. While visiting SAS's solar farm in Cary where sheep graze, she commented to co-founder John Sall: "If we only had that ram, John, we could mate and have fun."
Or while appearing at a state employees health fare, Perdue talked about her decision to give up smoking cigarettes and eating a bag of Doritos at the end of each week when she thought she was having a stroke.
"My head popped open, and I said, 'Dear God, if you let me live, I'll quit.' And I quit. I didn't quit for me. I quit because I thought about my kids not having momma or a daddy."
Or there was the time, when a television cameraman, offered a lascivious "All Right," after Perdue said she would "undress" from the TV microphone that was clipped to her jacket. " I'm an old woman," Perdue said. "You are a pervert."
She has publicly acknowledged in speeches - as she is about to go off script - that her staff has urged her to stay on script. And she runs through communications staff like water - David Kochman, Tim Crowley, Justin Guillory, Pearse Edwards and Chrissy Pearson are all former communications staffers no longer on the governor's staff.
"She is perfectly bright," Munger said. "But she is not quick on her feet. George Bush had the same problem. He was a smart guy but he would sometimes come across as: What in the world is that?"
To enter politics today, one has to have "an absence of self-doubt" and both Perdue and Bush have that, Munger said, allowing them to say whatever is on their mind, when other people might hold back.
When a politician makes a controversial mark, more than anything, speed matters, said Karen Finny, a Democratic strategist and former spokeswoman for the Democratic National Committee under Howard Dean, another politician known for speaking out.
"When politicians, in particular, say something off the cuff, whether it's a joke, or they're on a roll and say something, you have to make a quick decision when you hear it ... either clarify what they did mean or it was a joke and put it in the proper context," she said. "That's the reality of the news environment that we live in. Things get posted to the Web. It not only happens quickly, but it's permanent."
Several reporters did not immediately question Perdue about her remarks after her speech at McGregor Downs Country Club.
"It was obviously hyperbole," said communications aide Mark Johnson, who was at the governor's side. "Nobody asked about it at the time."
Several hours went by before the governor's office took steps to clarify her remarks. But by that time, her remarks, after appearing on newsobserver.com, had spread like wildfire over the Internet.
It is a sobering lesson for politicians.
"The worst wounds in politics are always self-inflicted, particularly when things can go viral," said Gary Pearce, a veteran Democratic strategist. "It emphasizes how disciplined politicians have to be. The slightest controversial remark and all of a sudden you have a million hits on the Internet."
Rob Christensen: 919-829-4532
She meant every word she said. There is video to prove it. She’s a liar.
“She is perfectly bright,” Munger said. “But she is not quick on her feet. George Bush had the same problem. He was a smart guy but he would sometimes come across as: What in the world is that?”
HO, HO, HO. yea right.
Lefties all over are trying real hard to spin that she was joking. She wasn’t.
In a vacuum I could buy it but the overall behavior of the democrats has made it a lot more plausible that she’s serious.
She meant what she said. She said what she meant. All Democrats are liars 100%.
What a load. My bet is that she is an airhead who was expressing frustration with the fact that politicians can’t make big decisions because of their fear of being voted out so in frustration she said we should suspend elections without having any clue what that means. Its more a sign of stupidity than a desire to overthrow the government, but it still doesn’t put her in a good light. And now she is clearly lying to cover up the gaffe.
For the sake of discussion, I'll give her the benefit of the doubt she wasn't serious....though I am less than convinced it's the case.
Conservatives deal with this kind of distortion every day. Welcome to our world, Ms. Perdue.
It puts her in the position of being a sarcastic imbecile.
So what's the proper context?
From where I sit, our elected officials are already too far removed from the public they supposedly represent. How does suspending elections, our only voice, improve that situation?
The truth is that this is not a sarcastic remark but is her genuine opinion, and it is the genuine opinion of all big gov. leftists. If only they didn't have to deal w/ the people they could really get alot done.
Just like Chavez and the ChiComs.
A fool, a liar, and a Democrat. But I repeat myself.....
We are dealing with Che wannabes
HMm Who knew Bev Purdue was also a tap dancer.....
Gov. Beverly “Sugar Dumplings” Perdue has stepped in it big time.
Purdue is full of...
OK, have it your way.
Let's just concentrate on the Senate and Presidential races.
This should be no surprise as liberals sincerely believe that average Americans are too stupid to make the “right” decisions in their lives and that liberal elites must make these decisions for them.
BS about this being sarcasm...it is a trial baloon sent out by the democrap in chief as he is now saying he is not going to leave if he loses the election, er, when he loses the election. Remember the line elections have consequences...he is going to take it one step farther, they have consequences when you don’t reelect a thug.
Loretta Lynn never suggested suspending elections. An elected official making such a suggestion, as a joke, or as a sarcastic aside, shows herself to be unfit for office.
They always say it was a ‘joke’ or ‘being sarcastic’ when they get caught being truthful.
Is that Freeper Molon Labe?
Pay no attention to my guitar case or carton of "curtain rods".
Now its “sarcasm”...yesterday it was “humor”.
What a twink! This idea has been percolating for awhile in leftist dreams...she just gave voice to it, however stupidly it was done.
It will make for a GREAT campaign video come next fall. You listening, challengers?
Can somebody please tell me what the people of North Carolina were thinking when they elected this nitwit?
It would only have been sarcasm if her point was that Members of Congress had no ability or desire to fix the economy, but were only concerned about reelection.
Doubt it; “molon labe” is a popular term. The photo is at least 10 years old. Dig a little and you’ll find some mildly interesting history surrounding it.
Perhaps a recall is in order.
I am sure that are other issues that, if they are shown the light of day, will show her failures.
Yeah yeah yeah....just like the RATspeak "Vote early and often".
That's just a funny joke that everyone really laughs at, not an actual suggestion.
>> Perdue’s staff never said the governor was joking. The word was used in a headline by some media, including The News & Observer <<
Is that a retraction? Because the News & Obfuscator put it in quotes.
The comment is proof of what we already know. They care more about keeping their jobs than doing their jobs.
If we didn’t have to worry about those silly little elections, we could get something done.
Remember the conditional phrase in that statement -
“when all else fails”
For me, the take-away from this article is to observe how far the libertarians have fallen from their stated purpose.
To claim the Governor had a valid point is to fly in the face of every principle the Libertarians once stood for.
Thank God I bailed on that party so early in my political evolution.
The Imam-in-Chief knows that his only means of remaining in his present job is to suspend elections.
Anyone who listened to the audio, Bev. There was no hint of humor in your voice.
The fact that you said this so matter-of-factly in public means it's something you've been discussing freely in private.
it puts her in the position of being a sarcastic imbecile.
That it does. If she says it was sarcasm then she is indeed making a caustic joke about the current set of professional politicians.
But what it really is, is a "freudian" type slip, where she really does think professional politicians, like her, should rule over the citizenry.
This is as a fundamental psychological revelation of the LEFT as there can be.
Think of all those, including myself, who advocate over and over term limits, for exactly the reason of eliminating this type of psychological sickness - comprehensive disrespect for one's citizen peers, and hence authoritarianism.
Johnny Suntrade, the Suntrade Institute
Didn’t this Perdue idiot repeal conceal carry permits.....twice.....when hurricanes hit North Carolina?
Purdue, the NYT, Orszag....all just kidding.
Sad!!! The voters of North Carolina hit on, beat on, rant and comment on this site about the remarks of Gov. bev Purdue to cancel congressional elections next year, when what they should be doing is forcing her to resign or impeach her!!! Folks, this is dicator stuff!!! North Carolina, a state I love, you all asleep at the wheel. Yoru freedom and liberty are in jeopardy and you cannot see the forest for the trees. You all, deserve Herr Obama and Dictator Bev Perdue!!!
I love it when the mask slips off...
This one made it to the North Woods. Quite a stir here at the camp. Glad I left the old north state, these New Englanders are so peeved at Ms PurDoodie.
Ms PurDoodie is far from an incompetent political hack. The battle axe helped nominate Pat McCrory to be her opponent in the 2008 election. By nominating a bozo former mayor of the Big “C” as her opponent she was certain to win and did.
Other former Big “C” mayors from both parties suffered similar fates in the recent past. Gantt and Vinroot come to mind.
Fear not, the NC republican party will figure out how to screw this up so bad that the LOON BAT will carry at least 93 of the 100 counties there.
The NC republican party is guilty of felonious incompetence.
Caddis the Elder
She needs to look up the definition of the word “Sarcasm” in the dictionary, because that wasn’t it.
Oh, come on, voting from the rooftops means voting more than once! (hehe)
She was not kidding. She should be prosecuted for treason.
Will see who picks it up and runs with it.
If that happens, there will be the greatest march on the WH we've ever had.