North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory's life has been unfair, he says, since he and fellow Republican leaders ushered in a torrent of criticism and backlash by adopting measures that critics say restrict the civil rights and liberties of LGBT people in the state.
"You've got to be politically naive if you think this is not coordinated by a very effective — a very effective — group," McCrory said in a recent interview with the New York Times.
McCrory, who faces reelection in November, has said he hoped to build his campaign around a so-called economic comeback for the state. But HB2, a Republican-authored state law passed in March that restricts cities from adopting anti-discrimination protections for LGBT people and governs the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, has become a central issue in the election.
The backlash over LGBT issues is unjust, McCrory told the Times, even though he's on record for calling on state lawmakers to take action against a Charlotte, North Carolina, nondiscrimination ordinance and signed HB2 less than 12 hours after it was first introduced in the General Assembly.
Several corporations and entertainers have called for nationwide business and travel boycotts of the state, including the possibility of the NBA nixing its plans to hold the 2017 All-Star game in Charlotte. Thousands of jobs and an estimated billions of dollars in revenue have already been lost to North Carolina's HB2 law, according to the New Civil Rights Movement, an LGBT rights media outlet.
McCrory also said he believes the backlash is an "Orwellian" conspiracy of a shadowy left-wing organization. But he is not giving any credit to his terrible record on progressive causes. Here are four other things making McGrory's political career a drag:
McCrory was among Republican leaders calling for a ban on Syrian refugee resettlement.
Reportedly prompted by the Paris terror attacks in November, McCrory was one of several conservative governors who opposed allowing refugees in his state due to security issues. Democrats and some Republicans blasted the position as a cheap and thinly veiled attempt to stoke fear of Muslims and win election support, the Charlotte News & Observer reported.
He moved to stop North Carolina cities from adopting sanctuary policies that shield undocumented immigrants.
After the Greensboro City Council voted in October to oppose a state bill restricting how local governments interact with undocumented immigrants, McCrory traveled to that town to sign the state measure into law. The law bans cities from adopting so-called sanctuary policies and from accepting certain forms of ID for public services, the Huffington Post reported.
The governor signed legislation that extended the waiting period for women who choose to have an abortion.
The measure, which he signed in June, tripled the waiting period for an abortion, the News & Observer reported. This action followed the national furor over a video sting of a Planned Parenthood clinic that anti-abortion activists said proved doctors were selling fetal tissue. McCrory's waiting period extension betrayed a 2012 pledge not to enact more restrictions to abortions.
He advocated for reduction of early voting days and for stricter voter ID laws that disproportionately impact Democrats and minority voters.
Legal challenges continue over a McCrory-backed measure that critics say disenfranchises large swaths of the state's eligible African-American and Latino voting populations. Considered by voting rights activists to be one of the most far-reaching measures in the country, North Carolina's law requires a photo ID to vote, prohibits same-day registration and voting, throws out ballots that are cast in the wrong precinct and ends teenage preregistration before turning 18, according to the Washington Post.
For McCrory, finding sympathy for the anti-progressive stances may prove difficult, particularly in an election year. Even Michael Jordan isn't on board.