NC governor: Suspend elections so Congress can focus on economy

North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue (D) proposed suspending congressional elections for a cycle so legislators could focus on fixing the economy.

"I think we ought to suspend, perhaps, elections for Congress for two years and just tell them we won't hold it against them, whatever decisions they make, to just let them help this country recover," Perdue said Tuesday, according to the Raleigh News & Observer. "I really hope that someone can agree with me on that. You want people who don't worry about the next election."

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According to the North Carolina newspaper, it's unclear whether Perdue was serious, although her tone did not suggest a joke.

The comment is especially unexpected coming from a Democrat, given the House is controlled by Republicans, and Democrats have accused the GOP of being responsible for legislative gridlock that has hurt the economy.

Later on Tuesday a spokesman for Perdue said she was "using hyperbole."

"Come on…Gov. Perdue was obviously using hyperbole to highlight what we can all agree is a serious problem: Washington politicians who focus on their own election instead of what’s best for the people they serve," Perdue Press Secretary Chris Mackey said in a statement.

—This story was updated at 5:10 p.m.