Republican candidate to lead NC’s public schools has called for execution of Obama, Biden and other Democrats

A 2020 Twitter post from Michele Morrow, the Republican candidate for North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction.

By Michael McElroy

March 15, 2024

CNN broke the story that Michele Morrow’s social media history included suggestions that President Obama face a firing squad and that President Biden deserved to die over his COVID mask guidelines.

In 2020, Michele Morrow, the Republican candidate to lead North Carolina’s public schools, called for President Obama to be shot by a firing squad on pay-per-view television. When CNN this week broke the story about her threat, which she made on Twitter, Morrow took to social media again to explain herself: by suggesting Obama deserved to be executed for war crimes.

Morrow handily defeated Republican incumbent Catherine Truitt last week in the party primary election for North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction, in what was a major surprise in an election that otherwise went pretty much as expected. 

Morrow, whose home-schooled children have never attended North Carolina public schools, ran her primary campaign as a “Lifelong Christian Conservative” who promised to fight culture war fights in the public school halls.

She disparaged LGBTQ students, mocked diversity initiatives, and called public schools “socialist indoctrination centers” in which educators taught “children to hate their country.”

She also advocated for further expansion of the state’s private school voucher program, and said she was “all for” the elimination of the state board of education.

The school superintendent doesn’t write education laws, but they are in charge of executing them in all 100 North Carolina counties, so it’s an important job.

But few North Carolinians knew much about Morrow, a registered nurse, before last Tuesday. 

They’re about to learn a lot more.

‘We could make some money back from televising his death.

North Carolina’s Republican primary was a good night for far-right candidates. 

Morrow, Mark Robinson (the GOP gubernatorial nominee) and Rep. Dan Bishop (the GOP attorney general nominee) have some things in common. They’ve shared conspiracy theories, used homophobic rhetoric, and spread Donald Trump’s lies that Joe Biden stole the 2020 presidential election.

If they all win in November, Robinson, Bishop, and Morrow would combine with the Republican controlled legislature to form one of the most far-right governments in the country.

But Morrow’s social media posts stand out, as CNN’s reporting shows. 

When someone tweeted in May of 2020 that Obama should be thrown in prison “for treason,” Morrow responded: “I prefer a Pay Per View of him in front of the firing squad. I do not want to waste another dime on supporting his life. We could make some money back from televising his death.”

As the story circulated on social media this week, Morrow did not back away from the call for violence, she embraced it.

“This underscores why teaching real history in K-12 is SO important!,” she wrote on Twitter.

“Obama is considered a war criminal by many people. He droned 324 innocent Arabs! Guess what the punishment is for that??”

She then posted a link accusing Obama of war crimes. 

But CNN’s article was not a story about a single social media post. 

A long scroll

  • CNN found several other social media posts over the last several years in which Morrow suggested that President Joe Biden and Gov. Roy Cooper should be executed for backing mask mandates and other public health measures during the COVID-19 pandemic. (For those with wobbly memories, COVID has killed more than 1.1 million people across the country.) In response to a question about whether she would follow then-President Elect Biden’s advice to wear a mask at the height of the pandemic, Morrow wrote: “Never. We need to follow the Constitution’s advice and KILL all TRAITORS!!!” She wrote the post on Dec. 20. More than 630 North Carolinians died of COVID that week alone. 
  • She suggested that Hillary Clinton, Anthony Fauci, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and others should be executed for treason. Morrow also shared the conspiracy theory that Obama and US Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota deserved to die because they were part of a Muslim plot to take over America. 

Hold on, there’s more.

  • This week, Media Matters, a left-leaning site that “counters right-wing disinformation,” found several social media posts in which Morrow used common hashtags associated with the QAanon conspiracy theory, which essentially says that Democrats are part of a Satanic coven that molests children, kills them, and drinks their blood. Donald Trump, according to QAnon followers, is the pre-ordained hero who will “drain the swamp” of all the enablers of the plot and end the child-killing, torturing, and blood-drinking once and for all. 

We’re not done yet.

  • Morrow took her oldest children to the Jan. 6 riot at the US Capitol, though she says she did not enter the capitol and left when police officers told her to. And when Republican Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia refused Trump’s demands to illegally overturn the state’s election results in 2020, Morrow posted that Kemp should be “arrested and tried.”
  • Morrow shared another conspiracy theory just before Biden’s inauguration in 2021, saying that China had amassed hundreds of thousands of troops on the Canadian and Mexican borders of the United States and planned to invade the country to protect Biden as he took office.
  • She has said teachers should be allowed to bring concealed guns into the classroom, but that if there is ever a school shooting, they shouldn’t be expected to use that gun to try to protect their students.

A suddenly vital race

Morrow will face Democrat Maurice (Mo) Green, the former superintendent of Guilford County Public Schools, in the general election. Green won the Democratic nomination with 66% of the vote.

While Morrow has no experience in public education, Green has lots

He led schools in North Carolina’s third-largest school district. He has called for public schools to be fully funded and has advocated for better teacher pay in a state which ranks near the bottom of the country. 

He has also vowed to highlight all the good that public schools do for their students and communities. 

Morrow and Green’s visions are vastly different and the voters will decide in November which vision best reflects their own. 

Author

  • Michael McElroy

    Michael McElroy is Cardinal & Pine's political correspondent. He is an adjunct instructor at UNC-Chapel Hill's Hussman School of Journalism and Media, and a former editor at The New York Times.

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