The Get with Morgan Fogarty: Gov. Roy Cooper

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper is battling back, after a blow this weekend to his efforts to expand Medicaid in the state. His Department of Health and Human Services filed an emergency motion Monday, to dissolve the temporary stay legislative leadership secured in federal court on Saturday.

Cooper is hopeful for help from Washington. He tells WCCB News @ Ten anchor Morgan Fogarty, “Vice President Pence, when he was the Governor of Indiana, expanded Medicaid. He knew it made economic sense. He knew is made budget sense. He wanted the federal tax money to come back to his state.”

Cooper was in Charlotte to celebrate Martin Luther King day. He gave his take on President-Elect Trump’s Twitter attack on Congressman John Lewis. “Congressman Lewis is an icon, he’s a courageous leader against discrimination and for rights for everyone. It frustrates me when I see someone attack someone of John Lewis’s stature,” says Cooper.

Cooper says he is ready to work with the Trump administration, he says, “to do what we can for our state.” He’s got his work cut out for him: there’s a variety of contentious issues facing North Carolina ranging from transgender rights to toll lanes.

In March, Cooper tweeted that then-Governor McCrory should “stop stalling and cancel the toll lane contract.” This month, Cooper named toll lane supporter Jim Trogdon the new Department of Transportation Secretary.

WCCB News @ Ten anchor Morgan Fogarty asked, “What does that mean for the toll lanes project and what does it mean for the voters who cast their ballot for you, hoping that this toll lane project would be taken off the table?” Cooper replied, “One of the things that I promised people was that we would take a hard look to examine the I-77 tolls. I am sending delegates from Raleigh, hopefully this week, to meet with anti-I-77 toll lane forces and to meet with businesses in that area and we will decide quickly what to do about this.”

Fogarty asked, “Is it wise to do business with a foreign interest that has no stake in the welfare of North Carolina?” Cooper said, “I would not have entered into this contract (with Cintra). I think it’s wrong, I think it’s hurtful. Now we’ve gotta decide what’s in the best interest of the people here and in our entire state. We have to make that decision based on data. Before, we had not even had access to some of the data at DOT, with the previous governor in place. Now we do.”

“Is Jim Trogdon supportive of your position on this,” asked Fogarty. Cooper said, “He is indeed. He’s looking forward to coming down here personally and meeting with opponents of I-77 and listening to their arguments and hearing them out.”

Fogarty also asked Cooper about re-drawing districts. He calls the current process “diabolical.” And, how crucial a possible 2017 special election is for his authority. He also talked about HB2, and what’s next for that law. That, and more, Tuesday, on WCCB News @ Ten.