By Colin Campbell
Former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory says the backlash against House Bill 2 is making some employers reluctant to hire him but he's currently doing consulting and advisory board work.
McCrory has been appearing frequently in interviews with national media outlets to defend the controversial LGBT law, but he hasn't announced what's next for his career. In a podcast interview recently with WORLD, an Asheville-based evangelical Christian news website, McCrory talked about his challenges on the job market.
The former Republican governor says HB2 "has impacted me to this day, even after I left office. People are reluctant to hire me, because, 'oh my gosh, he's a bigot' _ which is the last thing I am."
McCrory explained more about his current situation in an interview Monday evening with The News & Observer.
"I've currently accepted several opportunities in business to do work that I'd done prior to becoming governor in consulting and advisory board positions, and I've also been exploring other opportunities in academia, nonprofits and government," he said. "And I'll hopefully be making some of those decisions in the near future."
McCrory declined to name the companies he's working for. But the former governor said that he's been considered for part-time university teaching positions _ he wouldn't say where _ but that academic leaders "have shown reluctance because of student protests."
"That's not the way our American system should operate _ having people purged due to political thought," he told The N&O.
McCrory said he's also "had ongoing discussions with the Trump administration, but at this point in time nothing has come to fruition."
In the earlier podcast interview with WORLD, McCrory said the liberal groups opposing HB2 have harmed his reputation. "If you disagree with the politically correct thought police on this new definition of gender, you're a bigot, you're the worst of evil," he said. "It's almost as if I broke a law."
McCrory made the case that the core of the HB2 debate is an attempt to redefine gender. "You ask the doctor if it's a boy or a girl; you don't ask the baby," he said.
HB2 struck down local nondiscrimination ordinances and requires transgender people to use the bathroom that corresponds to the gender on their birth certificate while they are in schools and other government facilities.
The former governor also addressed a recent incident in Washington, D.C., in which he was chased down an alley by protesters chanting "shame."
"I'm sitting there without security and thinking, 'Is this really happening?'" he said. "I was in fear for my safety."
Podcast host Warren Cole Smith also asked McCrory if he plans to run for governor in 2020.
"I loved the job, and I would never rule out running again," McCrory said. "I've got to ask my wife. I don't know what my feeling will be two or three years from now. If I do decide to run, it will be curious if the conservatives stick with me."
The North Carolina Democratic Party issued a statement Monday responding to McCrory's job search troubles.
"North Carolina has already lost hundreds of millions of dollars in economic activity and thousands of jobs as a direct result of House Bill 2, but I guess we can start adding Gov. McCrory's career to the total as well," spokesman Mike Gwin said.
(c)2017 The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.)