By TOWNSEND WOODHULL
RALEIGH – Governor Roy Cooper held a press conference from the steps of the North Carolina Capitol this Friday morning. At times Cooper became combative and unnecessarily aggressive towards members of the press. At other times, Cooper acted the charming southern politician, which is what propelled him to the governor’s office.
The following transcript has been edited for brevity and entertainment:
COOPER: Thank you very much. I wanted to begin by mentioning that the nominee for Secretary of the Department of Transportation will be Mr. Jim Trogdon. When he moved to the private sector several years ago, Jimmy did very, very well.
Also, and this is all I’ll say about this, HB2 repeal reversal is fake news. HB2 repeal reversal — this is fake news put out by the media. The real news is the fact that people, probably from the McCrory administration or some of Berger’s people because they’re there, are putting stuff out there, because we have our new people going in place, right now.
The press should be ashamed of themselves. But you know what, I’m with you folks. I want to talk about something besides HB2 and the HB2 repeal reversal. Positive stuff. Stuff I’m doing. Democrats are doing. I’m actually having a very good time, okay?
Let’s see. Who’s — I want to find a friendly reporter. How about you? Are you from the N&O? Charlotte Observer? Oh, the Cary Citizen? Probably why I haven’t heard of you.
CARY CITIZEN REPORTER: Mr. …
COOPER: Are you a friendly reporter? Watch how friendly he is. Go ahead.
CARY CITIZEN REPORTER: Governor Coo…
COOPER: I like you guys. You’re honest. Not like David Crabapple, or whatever his name is. Who cares.
CARY CITIZEN REPORTER: Governor Cooper, you recently lost in court after you were sued by Gene Boyce for extreme defamation and libel in the 2000 election for Attorney General. Would you…
COOPER: You guys are unbelievable. Fake news. HB2 was a disaster. A gigantic mess of a disaster, and it’s gonna take time and talent – lots of talent, and believe me, we have it up here (gestures sort of all around) and fake news does not have talent. Believe me.
CARY CITIZEN REPORTER: Uhhhh…
COOPER (gesticulates, waves arms, rolls eyes): Uhhhh…I’m from Cary. Where building me supposed to be in? Why building not tan or beige? Next question. You. Bowtie.
CAROLINA JOURNAL REPORTER: Thank you, sir. Would you…
COOPER: You suck. Next question.
CIVITAS REPORTER: Governor, you apparently called several legislators to ask them not to repeal HB2. Care to comment?
COOPER: Freakin’ unbelievable. Lies. Lies. Liiiiies. You’re a paid agitator. Next question. Let’s see. You in the Bernie shirt.
INDY REPORTER: Governor Cooper, is it true that you rescued 17 undocumented immigrants from a house fire and were far too modest to take credit?
COOPER: I like you. You’re real news. You’re fantastic news. You and the N&O. Next question.
NORTH STATE JOURNAL REPORTER: Sir, did you not specifically press several companies, including Deutsche Bank, not to come to North Carolina because of HB2? Weren’t you advocating against North Carolina’s own self-interest?
COOPER: Get him out of here. Go on now! (sighs) I don’t want to talk about HB2. Enough. HB2 was a huge mess. It dented North Carolina’s economy by 0.1 percent. That’s huge. Big big number. Doesn’t everyone hate HB2?
(NSJ reporter hastily escorted out)
COOPER: All right. One more. You. Drinking from the flask.
UNGRAMMARED REPORTER: Huh?
COOPER: You’re….Ungrammared, right? Who let you assholes back in the building?
UNGRAMMARED REPORTER: Sorry – we thought the Black Keys were playing here.
COOPER: Don’t you want to ask me about puppies or how I make rainbows happen or how much I like the ‘Canes?
N&O REPORTER (raising hand excitedly): I will, sir!