Bev Perdue on state Democratic Party sexual harassment scandal: ‘Get over it’ [VIDEO]
North Carolina Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue had a message on Tuesday for reporters asking about sexual harassment allegations roiling her state’s party: “Get over it.”
Perdue has refused to comment on the matter and deflected criticism by claiming the scandal is nothing more than an internal personnel matter. On Tuesday, though, local news reporters confronted Perdue about the scandal and asked her why she is failing to push for full disclosure by the N.C. Democratic Party.
Perdue has called herself the “transparency governor.”
During the heated exchange with reporters, Perdue claimed her constituents don’t care about sexual harassment cases like this one.
“My comment continues to be: This is an internal personnel matter at the party and the party is working on it, and so I would just ask everybody else there to focus on what really matters to North Carolinians — and that’s jobs for people and good schools for their children,” Perdue said. “That’s the fundamental issue before us as we enter an election cycle, and I cannot get into personnel matters.”
Perdue then refused to say whether she would support an investigation, and said she would not say when she first learned about the sexual harassment allegations or anything about the scandal.
Pushed again for answers, Perdue then told one reporter: “Get over it.”
“None of us, none of us ever condone or put up with or tolerate sexual harassment,” Perdue said. “It’s unacceptable, it’s illegal and intolerable. What we have here, and what has been going on is an internal personnel matter being dealt with by this party and that’s all there is. And the party is working on it, and has been working on it. And I am just urging all of y’all besides just dealing on something like this to also focus on what’s important to real people in North Carolina. And what is important to real people in North Carolina is a good school for their child and jobs for their neighbors. Thank you.”
Perdue then walked away from the reporters and refused to answer any more questions. But before the video cut out, one reporter can be heard asking her if it’s true that she was first made aware of this scandal in December. She didn’t answer that question either.
When The Daily Caller followed up with Perdue’s press office on Tuesday, spokesman Ben Niolet refused to answer any questions and promised a call back later, but wouldn’t say when he would call back. “You know, we’ve got other things going on,” Niolet told TheDC.
North Carolina state Democratic Party executive director Jay Parmley resigned after reports that he allegedly sexually harassed low-level communications staffer Adriadn Ortega. TheDC was the first to report on emails between high-ranking party officials that confirmed the allegations of sexual harassment and that the party made a financial settlement with Ortega before having Ortega and Parmley both sign non-disclosure agreements to keep the scandal quiet.
Since Parmley’s resignation on Sunday, several other high-ranking Democrats in North Carolina have called for his boss’s resignation as well. It’s unclear as of yet whether State Democratic Party chairman David Parker will resign, but Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bob Etheridge has called for it, as has the Charlotte Observer’s editorial board.
WATCH: Local reporters roast NC Gov. Bev Perdue over state Democratic sex scandal:
UPDATE: The North Carolina Republican Party released a statement shortly after TheDC published this story, suggesting that this scandal may have been one reason Perdue decided against running for re-election.
“Governor Perdue’s ‘get over it’ moment suggests that she doesn’t believe that there was any wrongdoing in the ever-evolving scandal,” North Carolina GOP spokesman Rob Lockwood said in a statement. “In the video, The News & Observer’s John Frank asks, ‘If it was so serious, why didn’t you do anything about it in December when you learned about it?’”
“As is the case with every single scandal involving Perdue, we have no idea what she knew or when she knew anything,” Lockwood continued. “If she had prior knowledge, was this one of the reasons why she chose not to run again?”