RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The Democrat running for a congressional seat in a do-over election in North Carolina said Thursday he is not in favor of holding impeachment hearings aimed at President Donald Trump.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Dan McCready repeatedly blamed partisanship in both major political parties for the country's intense polarization, and said if he were elected he'd look for ways to compromise with Republicans.
McCready said he continues to oppose House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in her role as the top Democrat in the chamber he wants to join, a position he took last year during his close election against Republican Mark Harris. McCready said he also opposes any moves toward impeaching Trump.
"Washington is completely broken and it's not going to get better overnight. But the only way to make things better is to get people up to Washington who will put our country before political party and who will reach across the aisle to work on the real issues affecting people every day," McCready said. "I will be a voice for bipartisanship. I would be proud to be one of the most bipartisan members."
McCready faces Republican state Sen. Dan Bishop in a September special election. Bishop and his consultants have not responded to multiple interview requests since he won the GOP primary on May 14.
The Democrat will be swimming upstream in a congressional district that has been in Republican hands since 1963 and which Trump won by 12 percentage points in 2016. The 9th Congressional District stretches from suburban Charlotte to suburban Fayetteville along the South Carolina border.
McCready didn't directly answer several interview questions, but the former Marine platoon leader in Iraq was straightforward when asked whether the invasion to capture the country's never-found weapons of mass destruction was justified.
"No," said McCready, who joined the Marines two years after the 2003 invasion. "I think it was a war that was drummed up for political reasons on shaky intelligence. I think you only have to look at the experience in Iraq to see what the costs were."
More than 4,400 U.S. service members died in Iraq. Trump recently sent an aircraft carrier group and B-52 bombers to the Middle East over still-unspecified threats from Iran.
In an ongoing fight between Trump and Congress over funding for the border wall that was his signature 2016 campaign promise, a federal judge heard arguments Thursday in a funding lawsuit. The administration wants to use billions of dollars in Treasury and Defense Department funds that were appropriated for other purposes to build the wall. McCready was unspecific on whether he agreed with the need for a wall beyond those barriers already in place along parts of the national frontier.
"Republicans are right that we need to secure the border," McCready said. "There are a lot of places on the border right now that are open and are not secure and we need to secure the border and what we should do to do that is look at the people who are experts on how to do that."
The co-founder of a Charlotte solar-energy financing firm wouldn't say whether he supported a local ordinance that in 2016 expanded discrimination protections for gay, lesbian, and transgender residents. Instead, McCready attacked Bishop for sponsoring the state law that overruled the ordinance, forbade similar municipal initiatives statewide and directed transgender people to use public bathrooms matching their sex at birth.
The 2016 law known as House Bill 2 resulted in boycotts against North Carolina by businesses, entertainers, sports leagues, and other states before it was partially repealed the following year. A 2017 analysis by The Associated Press estimated that the law cost North Carolina more than $3.76 billion, primarily from businesses that decided to skip intended moves to the state.
Follow Emery P. Dalesio on Twitter at http://twitter.com/emerydalesio .