Perdue’s call for suspending elections may be ‘a national liability’ ahead of 2012, critics say

Matthew Boyle Investigative Reporter
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North Carolina Democratic Governor Bev Perdue’s recommendation that congressional elections be suspended may cause collateral damage to the Democratic Party, her Republican critics speculate.

On Tuesday Perdue recommended suspending elections until the economy recovers. “I think we ought to suspend, perhaps, elections for Congress for two years and just tell them we won’t hold it against them, whatever decisions they make, to just let them help this country recover,” Perdue said at a rotary club event in Cary, N.C., according to the Raleigh News & Observer. “I really hope that someone can agree with me on that.”

The shocking statement is destined for a long shelf life ahead of the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.

“It’s funny, you know, I have talked to some reporters at times and told them that the Democrats would rue the day they would ever have brought the convention to North Carolina because of Perdue,” Dallas Woodhouse of Americans for Prosperity’s North Carolina chapter told The Daily Caller.

“While it is somewhat surprising that somebody would make a comment so unbelievably inept, it is not a surprise that she has become such a national liability,” Woodhouse said.

North Carolina Republican Party spokesman Rob Lockwood jokingly told TheDC that if Perdue wanted to eliminate elections, she might do away with the DNC convention too.

“The Convention in Charlotte will bring major attention to the state, but if there is no election, does Governor Perdue want to cancel the convention too?” Lockwood said in an email. (RELATED: N.C. governor recommends suspending democracy to focus on jobs)

The political aftershock from Perdue’s comments may also scare fellow Democrats away from association with the governor.

Woodhouse said that it’s unlikely major Democratic Party officials, including President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, would be able to get off the hook on this one.

“It does mean that anybody that comes down here from the Democratic Party will have to answer whether they think the economy’s so bad we should just spit on the Constitution,” Woodhouse said.

When news broke about Perdue’s suggestion, the governor’s press team quickly asserted that she was joking.

“Come on … Gov. Perdue was obviously using hyperbole to highlight what we can all agree is a serious problem: Washington politicians who focus on their own election instead of what’s best for the people they serve,” Perdue spokesman Chris Mackey said in an email to TheDC.

But Woodhouse said it’s highly unlikely that Perdue was kidding, given the venue of her speech.

“They may play it off as a joke now, but it was made at the Cary Rotary Club, not known as a hotbed of comedy,” Woodhouse told TheDC. “It’s a place somebody gives a serious policy speech. She was not at a roast for somebody, she was at a place where somebody gives a policy speech and she stated as a matter of policy that we ought to suspend elections.”

Lockwood doesn’t think Perdue’s comments are much of a laughing matter either.

“In 2010 people across the country voted out the liberals who drove us into this mess,” he said. “It has been nearly 900 days since Senate Democratic leadership has allowed a budget to be voted on, so Governor Perdue recommends that we cancel elections and allow the Democrats to try and spend us into the fiscal abyss.”

Dallas Woodhouse’s brother, Democratic National Committee spokesman Brad Woodhouse, did not return several requests for comment.

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