GREENVILLE - Gubernatorial candidate Pat McCrory took his campaign to Greenville Friday, telling surgeons at East Carolina's Heart Institute a better business climate will expand high tech industry in the area.
"I just got out of a meeting with business leaders here in Greenville, in which they said state government is treating us as the adversary as opposed to the customer," McCrory said in an interview Friday. "And it's not worth doing business in North Carolina anymore."
Surrounded by surgeons in lab coats, McCrory said the medical field is one of Eastern Carolina's strongest economic sectors. The former Charlotte mayor plans to strengthen the local healthcare field by making regulations more enticing for companies to take root in the area.
"We have the highest income tax, the highest corporate tax, the highest gas tax, the highest sales tax in the Southeast," McCrory said. "That's not competitive. And you wonder why we have the fifth highest unemployment rate in the country. That's inexcusable."
The Republican nominee named other sectors in the eastern part of the state he hoped to grow as part of his economic vision for Northt Carolina. Without hesitation, he said the area should invest in the energy industry.
"If we have energy underneath our ground or underneath our water, then we ought to get in that business and create jobs," McCrory said, alluding to hydro-fracking for natural gas and drilling for oil in the Atlantic Ocean.
As to how he feels about his chances of winning the governor's race in November, McCorry's answer was simple.
"I run extremely paranoid because I've lost before. I don't care what the polls say. I'm going to work until the polls close on November 7th."
In the latest poll numbers released Thursday by Marist College and NBC News, McCrory runs a comfortable margin over his opponent, Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton. The Republican candidate leads with 52 percentage points among likely voters. Dalton stands at 39 percentage points. The margin of error for the Marist / NBC News poll is plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.