McCrory not yet ready to declare a run for governor

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CHARLOTTE, N.C.,None - A new poll shows North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue has her lowest job rating in nearly two years.

Many believe former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory will be the one who challenges her again in 2012.

McCrory has been spending a lot of time criss-crossing the state. He has been making political speeches and, from the looks and sounds of it, possibly running for office.

“So are you ready to say officially if you are running for governor?” asked Channel 9 anchor Blair Miller.

“I’m not ready to say I’m officially running for governor,” McCrory responded.  “But all indications are looking very positively toward running for governor.”

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“So what are you waiting for?” Miller asked.

“First of all, I think the campaign season is entirely too long,” McCrory said.  “Frankly, I think the public gets very fatigued with candidates who have very long campaign seasons.”

At his home in Myers Park, McCrory talked about the next election, which is still 14 months away.  McCrory is not required to file officially for candidacy until February.

In 2008, he lost to Perdue by 140,000 votes.  He even lost narrowly in Mecklenburg County, and it still bothers him.

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“Was it hard to see the results here in Mecklenburg County?” Miller asked.

“That was probably the most difficult personal hit to the gut, was the city of Charlotte, where I lost by 100 or 200 votes,” McCrory said.

He blames his loss on several factors: entering the race too late, a lack of organization and not enough money.

Many analysts have said that President Barack Obama’s popularity led to straight ticket voting for the Democratic Party.

McCrory also said people outside Charlotte didn’t know him, which explains why he is now spending many days giving campaign-like speeches in other parts of the state, many two to three hours away from Charlotte.

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While McCrory said he's learning from those mistakes, he is focused on trying to oust the governor.

“When it comes to Bev Perdue, what do you think about her?” Miller asked.

“I’m disappointed in her leadership,” he said.  “I don’t think she grabbed the mantle in these difficult times, taking charge and saying ‘now is the time to reform state government.’”

In 2008, their campaign got personal and nasty at times, something McCrory readily admits.

"It's a nasty game and I know Gov. Perdue can be a very Machiavellian politician where she and her cohorts will attack you from every angle possible," he said.

Channel 9 shared those comments with Gov. Perdue's office on Tuesday and a representative sent a response.

"For the past three years, Bev Perdue has been doing everything she can to create jobs and protect our schools.  And for the past three years, Pat McCrory has been doing everything he can to tear down Bev Perdue.  He should have the guts to take responsibility for the dishonorable campaign he's running," the statement reads.

Political analyst Michael Bitzer said right now McCrory has the momentum, but said the next 14 months will likely be a political battle that would be hard to miss.

“If 2008 was any indicator, 2012 will blow it all out of the water,” Bitzer said.  “It will be a knock-down, drag-out fight.”

Miller asked McCrory what happens if he loses a second time.  He said, “I’ll move on.  It’s not life and death.  I’ll just be older.”