Let’s be real: the seemingly endless presidential debates this election cycle have been excruciating, from the time Donald Trump assured us that, um, all was well downstairs to whatever the hell we saw at last Sunday. So we can’t really blame you for skipping out on the minor-league contests.

But there were two marginally important North Carolina debates last week that you might have missed: one between Governor Pat McCrory and Attorney General Roy Cooper, another between Senator Richard Burr and former state legislator Deborah Ross. (The final McCrory and Cooper debate took place Tuesday night, after we went to press.)

We know you probably didn’t watch, but, in case you were curious about what went down, here are five noteworthy quotes from each of the two contests.


1. “You’re about as straight as another trial lawyer who became a politician in North Carolina: John Edwards.” McCrory, on Cooper

2. “It’s hard to believe that Governor McCrory continued to support a presidential candidate who condones sexual assault. … Governor McCrory and Donald Trump are a lot alike. They both have trouble with the facts, and they both engage in divisive rhetoric.” Cooper, on McCrory’s support of Trump

3. “What makes him a role model is where he does stand strong on certain issues that need to be said, especially from outside Washington, D.C.” McCrory, on Trump

4. “If ID is good enough for Sudafed, I think it’s good enough for the people of North Carolina to vote.” McCrory, on why he still supports the voter ID law

5. “There’s bias in all of us. It’s not necessarily always racial bias. There might be bias in how we dress, how we look, the environment we might be in. Those are tools that police use to determine what action to take.” McCrory, endorsing racial profiling


1. “Senator Burr has stuck by Donald Trump through all of this, and I think that shows a lack of judgment. Senator Burr has toed the party line even when Donald Trump has crossed the line.” Ross, on Burr’s support of Trump

2. “If in fact he did it, that would be sexual assault. I take him at his word that he didn’t do it.” Burr, on Trump

3. “North Carolinians didn’t send me to Congress to duplicate existing law.” Burr, on being one of three Republicans to vote against banning insider trading for top federal employees

4. “I’m not in a position where I could make a comment on that.” Burr, when asked if he thought Russia was behind the hacks of the DNC

5. “The fact is that I voted eighteen times to strengthen and update the sex offender registry. I’ll put my record of protecting women and children up against his any day of the week.” Ross, on Burr accusing her of being soft on sex offenders