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Hunt on campaign trail for Obama
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Hunt on campaign trail for Obama
Former governor stumps for Obama in tight swing state, GOP responds

As a dentist for an under-served population in a Pitt County community health center, Robert Doherty said he wanted to hear up close and personal what former Gov. Jim Hunt had to say about Obamacare.

So he and about six others gathered at the home of East Carolina University professor Boni Boswell to sit with Hunt, ask questions and hear why Hunt believes President Barack Obama has the best plan to grow the economy and how he will look out for the middle class.

Hunt, a Wilson County native and longest serving governor in North Carolina history, is campaigning for Obama by touring North Carolina and talking to middle-class families in their homes.

Hunt, now 75, was joined by his wife Carolyn.

North Carolina is a hotly contested battleground state that Obama took by just 14,000 votes four years ago.

Hunt "is one of North Carolina’s greatest advocates and we are thrilled to have him back on the campaign trail for the president,” Obama campaign spokesman Cameron French said.

Hunt sat relaxed on the sofa with his host, his sleeves rolled up, and talked about Obama’s record and what the country had to recover from.

"Carolyn and I were listening to the radio and we heard that unemployment rates have come down below 8 percent,” Hunt told the group. "It’s way too high, but boy is it a long way down. When that man took office, that first month, January of 2009, we lost as a country 750,000 jobs in one month. Imagine that. That’s a fact. That’s what happened and we’ve been gradually working to build back and we are coming back.”

A spokesman for Mitt Romney’s North Carolina campaign, Robert Reid, wrote in an email to the Associated Press late Friday that "Obama and his Democrat allies are willing to say anything and spread any falsehood to avoid talking about the president’s record of fewer jobs, declining incomes and record poverty.”

Hunt, who has not served in political office for 16 years, said he volunteered to come out to campaign for the president.

"I believe in this,” Hunt, a Rock Ridge resident, told reporters about campaigning for Obama. "I care about my country and I care about this state that I worked so hard to serve for many, many years. I know what it takes to build the economy. It really does take following the North Carolina plan.”

Hunt said the North Carolina plan is investing in education, research and development, a medical school such as the one in Greenville.

"I know that’s the way you get out of a bad fix, is that you grow the economy and become a competitor of the world, and have a great future,” Hunt explained. "We can do that. All these people down in the dumps and think America is out of the game. No, they’re wrong.”

Hunt said it only takes following the plan the president has laid out — investing in education, research and development and infrastructure.

Hunt said only giving huge tax cuts to the rich doesn’t work to help middle class Americans.

"Gov. Romney is a man who has had a different kind of lifestyle. He really doesn’t get it about the middle class folks,” Hunt said.

Hunt said one term for Obama is not enough.

"We all need to be working together,” Hunt said. "I mentioned ‘No Child Left Behind.’ George Bush is a Republican president. But ‘No Child Left Behind’ had some good points to it. We want to help all the children graduate.”

Hunt said wanting all children to do well in school should not be looked at from a partisan point of view.

"You look at it from the point of view of helping people,” Hunt explained, "helping them get jobs and improve schools.”

Washington’s elected officials did not work together, Hunt said.

"I think the Congress has, particularly the House of Representatives, has not helped the situation,” Hunt said. "My fondest hope now is that when the Congress comes back, they will all pitch in together to get our problems solved and get us moving forward.”

Hunt said they have to get the fiscal house straightened out.

"Both sides have got to compromise,” Hunt said. "People have not been willing to compromise in Washington. It’s my way or the highway. That’s wrong.”

Hunt said some of the candidates running have said maybe they ought to work together more, and he is hopeful.

"I am not negative on the future,” Hunt said. "Particularly if President Obama is re-elected, and they go back to Washington, I think you’re going to see both parties buckle down, get to work, come out with a compromise approach to solving our fiscal problems and growing our economy.”



Doherty said he was pleased to hear what Hunt had to say and he sees first hand why Obama’s plan for health care is needed.

"We have people who are on the edge,” Doherty said. "If our clinic is not there, these folks have no place to go. We’re dental, medical and behavioral health. We see 15 to 16 thousand people a year. We’re excited about the fact that Medicare is going to be increased. It’s going to focus on the folks who need it most.”

Doherty said the people he sees in his office are not like the 47 percent Romney talked about who feel entitled.

"I’m dealing with the poorest Americans,” Doherty said. "I see a fighting spirit in some of these people that completely goes against what Gov. Romney was talking about.”

Doherty said he sees the people he works with working out plans to pay their medical bills and going back to school.

"They bring their books and study while they are waiting to be served — that’s the majority of them,” Doherty said. "That’s not the picture I see painted when I hear the anger from people who criticize them.”

Doherty said he is pleased Hunt is spreading the word about Obama’s plan.



Michelle Obama spoke in Greenville several weeks ago at an East Carolina campaign event.

And in September, Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan visited East Carolina for a campaign event.

Ryan said during the campaign stop he and Romney would slash government spending, reduce taxes and rely on domestic energy sources to propel America forward.

"We have got to stop spending money we just don’t have,” Ryan said. "It is draining jobs, it is hurting our economy and it is clearly mortgaging our children’s future.”

Ryan compared Obama to one-term Democratic president Jimmy Carter, highlighting high numbers of bankruptcies and delinquent mortgages.

"The president can say a lot of things, and he will, but he can’t say you’re better off,” Ryan said. "Simply put, the Jimmy Carter days look like the good old days.”

In a nod to tea party conservatives, Ryan praised the Constitution’s framers and called for limits to the federal government. | 265-7847
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Registered Democrat for Romney and McCrory said...

What NC plan is Jim Hunt referring to?? I haven't seen a viable plan from the last 3 democratic governors in NC! The downturn in this state started with Jim Hunt and his liberal policies, continued by a do-nothing Easley and a very incompetent, disrespected Bev Purdue! The very last thing we need is four more years of Obama and a cookie-cutter Walter Dalton!!

Monday, October 08, 2012 at 7:40 PM
Huge Shock said...

Governor for Life Hunt supports Obama. Jim Hunt is one of the most partisan politicians to ever operate in North Carolina. He's just another Obama puppet sent out to fool the voters of North Carolina. Jim Hunt is just a rich, elitist Democrat who wants to tell you how to live and what to believe. Reject the lies and half truths of the left and vote your conscience!

Sunday, October 07, 2012 at 6:35 PM
curtis said...

It was stated in a paragraph abobe that this dental clinic saw 15-16000 patients in a year.
Divide 16000 by 260 (number of work days in a year - mon thru fri). That comes to something like 70-80 dental patients a d-a-y.......WOW
Wonder how much of that billing (%)
is to medicare/medicade??? would be interesting to know. Maybe a good story for the WDT to do.

Sunday, October 07, 2012 at 4:52 PM
"O" no said...

Another point of view....HUNT had to at least attempt to do something and this was likely the most inconspicuous thing to do. It wasn't a huge rally or fund raising event. Die-hard democrats must at least look like they are supporting BO or NC could suffer severe monatary ramifications later should he be re-elected. Heaven forbid. It is a political game, remember? You scratch my back, I scratch yours. If Hunt didn't at least make an effort for BO then NC goes to the bottom of the list for Federal Assistance, Grants, funding etc. People can talk all they want but it is their vote that will really matter.

Sunday, October 07, 2012 at 11:39 AM
@Just Sayin' said...

Thats exactly right. Thats how we got stuck with Bev! What a joke of a governor. Thanks dems, hope yall go packing after November!

Sunday, October 07, 2012 at 11:27 AM
C'mon! said...

How does Hunt figure that Obama knows anything about middle class life? Obama doesn't know any more about it than Romney!! At least Romney hasn't tried to lie and cover up his background! I don't trust Obama any farther than I can throw him!

Sunday, October 07, 2012 at 9:23 PM voter said...

I believe everyone should register to vote but just because you are a Democrat or Republican dosent mean you have to vote that way in the President election but some diehards dont see it that way

Saturday, October 06, 2012 at 12:43 PM Just sayin' said...

Hunt is one of those mindless voters who votes for the party, not the individual. One of his cronies said they wouldn't have to worry about democrats winning because as long as a black person is running, all the blacks will vote straight democratic. I call that pretty racist and definitely mindless!

Saturday, October 06, 2012 at 10:11 AM said...

Old Lickity-Lips is back. I'm sure the democrats are swooning. A crook campaining for an idiot.

Saturday, October 06, 2012 at 9:41 AM said...

When will the next (cabal) be held?

Saturday, October 06, 2012 at 9:11 AM I Wonder said...

If I gathered a group of like minded Republicans in my home to discuss how great we believe Mitt Romney to be, would the Times cover it like this? You can be sure that the dentist and the six others in attendance were all registered democrats. This is nothing but a shrewd way to spread the democrat hogwash without having to pay for it.

Saturday, October 06, 2012 at 9:07 AM Democrat soon to change said...

Remember the situation Hunt left us with. Will you or any other sensible person even consider listening to Jim Hunt. If President Obama needs Mr. Hunt's help, President Obama is in trouble in North Carolina.

Saturday, October 06, 2012 at 8:51 AM Former Democrat said...

I cannot believe im Hunt can even think of voting for this man.
Hunt said some of the candidates running have said maybe they ought to work together more, and he is hopeful.
Obama has not tried to work with anyone. He is the 'my way or the highway man"
Wake up Jim. You were a pretty good gov. but you must by drinking too much 'coolaid'

Saturday, October 06, 2012 at 1:31 AM
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