McCrory Says He'll Put NC On Road To Recovery
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Gov. Pat McCrory said Saturday at North Carolina's inauguration ceremony that his administration will revitalize the state's economy and education system but that state government won't be an obstacle to unleashing the state's new South dynamism.
McCrory, the former Charlotte mayor and first Republican governor in 20 years, spoke to the crowd of thousands in downtown Raleigh for the public swearings-in of 10 Council of State members. McCrory and Lt. Gov. Dan Forest already took the oaths of office several days ago, but both got sworn in a second time.
"We will put North Carolina on a better road to recovery. We will grasp our potential from every Main Street throughout North Carolina," McCrory said in his prepared remarks. "Working together, we can make North Carolina the place of unlimited opportunity - a place where anyone who studies hard, works hard and lives a life with high values, can fulfill and even exceed their potential."
McCrory, 56, said his parents moved to North Carolina in the mid-1960s because of its education and employment opportunities and quality of life. The state became a transportation and financial hub and built a leading university system, McCrory said.
"We've had great successes, but some wounds that had been camouflaged were uncovered and exposed, especially during this recession," he said. McCrory said he knows people are hurting now in communities across the state because the state's unemployment rate - at 9.1 percent - remains among the nation's highest.
"Today we are setting a new strategy and vision to unleash the strength of our industries and the entrepreneurial talent and energy of our citizens," the new governor added. "We will lead the way once again."
In keeping with campaign themes, McCrory said the state government he manages will be run as a team effort and focus on creating a culture of customer services. While the state is on improved financial footing compared to four years ago as Democratic Gov. Beverly Perdue entered office, there won't be new revenues coming from government in the near future.
"Government cannot solve all these problems alone because there is no new money falling out of the sky," he told the crowd. "We should not ask for more money from you because the result is more pain to families and small businesses on Main Street. ... Instead, government is going to pay its bills, moving away from borrowed time and borrowed money."
The ceremony was held on the south side of the old Capitol building overlooking Raleigh's primary downtown thoroughfare of Fayetteville Street - a departure from recent inauguration events on the steps of the state library.
"As I look out toward Main Street with government at our back, I see unlimited opportunity," he said in the prepared remarks. "Government should not be a barricade or an obstacle to progress. Our face and our approach should be outward, not inward. "
The inaugural parade follows the ceremony. McCrory and his wife, Ann, also will hold an open house at the Executive Mansion. McCrory will wrap up three days of festivities by attending a celebration assembled by a new conservative-leaning think tank. The traditional North Carolina Governor's Inaugural Ball was held Friday night.