A Closer Look: McIntyre on retiring, endorsing, and Presidents - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

A Closer Look: McIntyre on retiring, endorsing, and the three Presidents

Posted: Updated:
Rep. Mike McIntyre, who plans to retire from Congress at the end of his current term Rep. Mike McIntyre, who plans to retire from Congress at the end of his current term

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – Rep. Mike McIntyre still has about a year left in Washington, DC. After announcing plans to retire at the end of his ninth term in the House of Representatives, the Democrat from Lumberton has had to answer a lot of questions about why and how he decided to step down.

"You're constantly on the go in this job," McIntyre said in an interview this week. "If you're not doing official business, you're doing political business and you're always going to events. We finally had some time during the Christmas holidays and New Year's to spend some time talking, reflecting and praying about our decision. That's something we do every two years. It was not just this election, or this situation, like a lot of people have assumed. As we look back we feel good about what we've accomplished. We also felt it was a good time to look at new opportunities and a new chapter while we are still young enough and healthy enough to look at those new opportunities."

In the days immediately after making the announcement, McIntyre said he was unclear about what the future would hold, and whether he saw any other political campaigning on the horizon. There has been speculation on several fronts that he would possibly seek a position in Raleigh, whether it be in the General Assembly or as a candidate for state office.

"It's always nice when people suggest those things," said McIntyre when asked if he had given any more thought to the possibilities of holding elected office once again.  "It took a while to pray through and come to this decision, we are now just beginning to explore what those opportunities might be. Whatever we do, we want to continue helping North Carolina, whether it be in the public or private sector."

McIntyre is quick to say that he has plenty of work ahead in Congress, especially on three major bills he says will impact major industries in North Carolina: agriculture with the Farm Bill, the Defense Bill and the impact on military bases in North Carolina, and the Water Resources Development Act  dealing with the state's beaches and coastline.

McIntyre also shared some thoughts on the three men who served in the Oval Office during his 18-years in Congress.

He remembered President Bill Clinton's trip to Whiteville in 2000, on his "bridging the digital divide" trip, speaking in front of a crowd estimated at five thousand people. "That was President Clinton's last year," McIntyre said. "I remember later that year during the holidays, one of the staff members came up to me and told me the President said that trip stood out in his mind as one of the most enjoyable of his last year in office, and out of his eight years because it was so genuine, the people were so excited, and it was like rural America and southeastern north Carolina was being paid attention to."

McIntyre thought back to a favorite time spent with President George W. Bush, during a 2002 trip to one of the military bases in North Carolina: "I still remember when we flew down to Fort Bragg, and he made an address to the nation right in the midst of some of the tense days early on with our involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan," McIntyre recalled. "That night happened to be the night of the NBA draft, and that happened to be the year (University of North) Carolina won the NCAA championship. We're getting on the plane getting ready to fly back on Air Force One that night, because we were in session that week.  I have a picture, the White House photographer stepped into the President's office on Air Force One, and we're sitting there with (former Senator) Elizabeth Dole, (former Representative) Robin Hayes and (Senator) Richard Burr. They're Duke and Wake Forest grads, and I'm the only Carolina graduate in the room. President Bush turns around, picks up the USA Today, looks at me and says ‘what happened in the draft, isn't that doing on tonight?' I said ‘yes sir, and we had two Carolina guys everybody expected to be drafted, and Rashad McCants also went in the top-15'. He looked at me and said, ‘that McCants guy, he wasn't supposed to go that high, was he?' Then he opened up the USA Today and we started talking Carolina basketball".

McIntyre says President Obama is a big basketball fan, and recalled sharing times talking hoops with the current Commander-in-Chief. "He has met my two boys, they are Carolina grads like I am," McIntyre said. "I remember when he (President Obama) picked Carolina to win the national championship and they did in 2009, and we were at a summer picnic where they invite the families of Congress to come, and my whole family was there. We all wore our Carolina blue knit shirts, identical knit shirts, and we came walking along the South Lawn to speak to him and he said ‘here come those Carolina boys'. Ever since then he has remembered that and even the other day, when I was on Air Force One (for President's trip to Raleigh), he talked to me about the Carolina basketball team and the tough season they're having now. He's never forgotten that. He always brings that up to me or to the boys."

When asked if he will be active in backing any of the candidates who file to run for his District 7 House seat, McIntyre said flatly "no". "We've had Democratic, Republican and Independent support. That's the people's decision, I don't think we should run interference on that, so we don't plan to get involved."

It will be the first election Mike McIntyre is not involved with in two decades. But, only time will tell if it will be the last.

Copyright 2014 WECT. All rights reserved.

  • PoliticsMore>>

  • Senate to debate budget plan that includes teacher raises and film grants

    Senate to debate budget plan that includes teacher raises and film grants

    Thursday, July 31 2014 7:58 AM EDT2014-07-31 11:58:23 GMT
    Senate lawmakers in Raleigh are scheduled to vote Thursday on a $21.2 billion compromise budget plan, one day before fellow representatives in the state House begin debate on the same proposal. The budget
    Lawmakers in the state Senate are scheduled to begin debate Thursday morning on a compromise $21.2 billion budget deal. The proposal includes a proposed pay raise for teachers in public schools, and a "Film & Entertainment Grant Fund" to replace the refundable tax credit that expires at the end of 2014. Click on the links inside this story to read the specifics of the proposals.
  • Rep. Hamilton points to incentives inconsistencies

    Rep. Hamilton points to incentives inconsistencies

    Thursday, July 31 2014 7:49 AM EDT2014-07-31 11:49:49 GMT
    Rep. Susi Hamilton claims Republican leaders in the General Assembly have changed their tune on some economic development incentives, but not the tax credit program that lures film production to the state. The Wilmington
    Rep. Susi Hamilton claims Republican leaders in the General Assembly have changed their tune on some economic development incentives, but not the tax credit program that lures film production to the state.
  • Industry leaders react to proposed film incentive program cuts

    Industry leaders react to proposed film incentive program cuts

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 7:53 AM EDT2014-07-30 11:53:51 GMT
    Lawmakers in Raleigh will likely vote later this week on a compromise budget agreement reached by conferees this past weekend, after negotiations extended the General Assembly session longer than many
    Pay raises for teachers, more vacation days for state workers, and less money for film incentives are all part of the $21.2 billion budget plan agreed on by negotiators in the state House and Senate. The deal will likely be voted on by lawmakers this week in the General Assembly.
Powered by WorldNow

310 Broadway
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701

FCC Public File
publicfile@kfvs12.com
573-335-1212
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and KFVS12. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.