WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Gov. Bev Perdue made it clear Friday how she feels about voters approving a Constitutional amendment defining marriage in North Carolina as between one man and one woman. In doing so, she likely offended residents of two states.
Reporters asked Perdue about the amendment, which passed by about 500,000 votes Tuesday, during her visit to a school in Greenville. The Democrat, who had said before the election she was against the law, made it clear she thought it was the wrong move for the Tar Heel State.
"People around the country are watching us and they're really confused to have been such a progressive forward thinking economically driven state that invested in education and that stood up for the civil rights people including the civil rights marches back in the '50s and '60s and '70s," Perdue said. "People are saying, 'What in the world is going on with North Carolina?' We look like Mississippi."
It didn't take long for Perdue's comments to move west to the Magnolia State, where elected leaders and residents resented her shot at the state's history.
"I am certainly disappointed by Gov. Perdue's statement regarding North Carolina's 'looking like Mississippi.' Apparently, North Carolina's voters are much more in line with Mississippi's traditional values on marriage than those of Gov. Perdue," Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, a Republican, said in a statement.
Mississippi's Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, also a Republican, reacted as well, calling out Perdue's record as governor.
"Gov. Perdue should know that her administration has a lot of work to do to make her state's business climate 'look like Mississippi," Reeves said in a statement. "We are creating an environment which encourages the private sector to invest capital in Mississippi, and I would invite any North Carolina-based company wanting to move to a lower-taxed, less-regulated state to look at our business-friendly opportunities."
Reeve's went on to cite rankings that put Mississippi ahead of North Carolina as a place for business, as well as a lower unemployment rate in Mississippi than North Carolina.
It wasn't just Mississippi's top politicians who fired back at Gov. Perdue. We asked our sister station WCBI in Columbus, MS, to see what Mississippians had to say.
"I don't think we're the bottom of the barrel, but I think we have some conservative values and core values that distinguish us from other states," Diane Malone said.
"What they're saying about Mississippi, I wouldn't even be studying it, because if they say it's against the law for two women to be together, then it's against the law," Arlissa Gardner said.
"I think that's ridiculous, and it shows the amount of ignorance politicians have about Mississippi," Andre Osby said. "Tell you what: Come down and give Mississippi a try."
Friday afternoon, WWAY e-mailed Perdue's press secretary to ask if the governor still stood behind her comments. So far, we have not received a response.