Gov. Pat McCrory has officially been in office for 100 days. He opened up to Eyewitness News about his challenges and successes so far as governor.
When McCrory first took office, he was eager to get to work.
But what surprised him most are the attacks that he said continued from critics even after he won the election.
“That surprised you,” Eyewitness News anchor Blair Miller said.
“It did,” McCrory said. “I thought we'd be given a little bit of a honeymoon from the people who didn't get me elected, but that honeymoon wasn't given.”
Now, 100 days into office, McCrory said he's mostly done putting out the fires from what he inherited and is now trying to accomplish his own goals.
“So I'm moving with a sense of urgency. I'm kind of bringing a mayor's attitude to the governor's job,” McCrory said.
Whether it's during one of his visits to a small town or sitting in his office, McCrory is pushing education and the economy, saying the two must improve together under his watch.
“Do you think Charlotte is out of the recession?” Miller asked.
“No one is out of the recession,” McCrory said. “But I think Charlotte has the best potential.”
McCrory has tried to avoid the politics in Charlotte, including control of the airport or renovating Bank of America Stadium. He said both are local issues to be decided by local leaders.
But his critics at the state level question his leadership, including the controversial appointment of Art Pope as state budget director. Pope is a prominent donor to conservative groups and political candidates, and some in the Democratic Party believe McCrory made a bad choice.
“Some believe that went against campaign promises. What do you say about that?” Miller asked.
“My campaign promise was to select the best people,” McCrory said.
He added, “He has been a lightning rod for some very coordinated attacks against him from some left-wing groups.”
McCrory said he's happy where he is right now on the issues but warns the next toughest decision will be how to build and maintain roads.
And then there's education. McCrory's budget calls for a $135 million cut to the UNC system, something he's not willing to budge on.
“We have a choice,” McCrory said. “We can keep doing it the same way with the same results or we can change and think out of the box.”
Even some Democrats, like state Rep. Tricia Cotham from Mecklenburg County, say McCrory is more open and accessible than the last two governors -- both Democrats.
And if anything, he needs to appeal to the middle of North Carolina.
“You don't want to be too far to the left or too far to the right because most of North Carolina -- that's the electorate. They are more in the middle,” Cotham said.
And McCrory knows it. He insists he's still the same man whose laid-back style helped him lead Charlotte for 14 years.
“Has your style changed?” Miller asked.
“No, I can't change,” McCrory said. “I'm 56 years old. I can't change now. It's too late.”