RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Gov. Pat McCrory is backing away from a statement that he frequently mingles into crowds of protesters angry with Republican priorities.

McCrory and his top spokeswoman said Friday he often hears from his critics while walking around the state's government complex in Raleigh. Those forays on foot are sometimes close to the near-weekly demonstrations opposing GOP decisions, but McCrory now says he hasn't waded into the crowd.

The Republican governor seemed to be saying in an interview Wednesday with The Wilson Times that he often entered the crowds at the North Carolina capitol, and gotten cussed out in the process.

McCrory has said he had no desire to meet with protesters and there had been no reports of the governor engaging with demonstrators.

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