His remarks came shortly after he had said he would “make sure we don’t say something stupid, make sure we don’t say something we don’t mean.”
Hayes had followed Rep. Patrick McHenry, also a North Carolina Republican, who laid out the choice between McCain and Obama.
“It’s like black and white,” yelled someone from the crowd.
Update: Hayes spokeswoman, Amanda Little, says that Hayes absolutely denies making the comments that appear in the Observer article. She noted that other national reporters were at the event and didn't pick up on what the Observer reported.
The Crypt called the Observer reporter in question, Jason Horowitz, and he said he stands firmly by his reporting. "I was there. That’s what I heard. I was taking notes while he was talking," said Horowitz.
He said that the national media couldn't have picked up on the comment because they had yet to arrive at the event. "I wasn't on the plane," said Horowitz, who explained that he arrived before the national media. "I don’t know if they were aware the national press wasn’t there, but they were staying stuff."
Horowitz said he isn't concerned about being proven wrong because local reporters and camera crews were there, so someone must have caught the comment. "There were local reporters there. There were sticks up," he said.
Little pointed to a local Independent Tribune article that does not reference Hayes making derogatory comments about liberals. The Crypt left a message with the author's article, Josh Lanier, and will update this post when we hear back.
In the meantime, if you were at the rally and heard Hayes speak, write firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know what you heard.
Update 2: "I can guarantee that he said that," local reporter Josh Lanier, who was at the event, tells The Crypt. "I didn’t get the 100 percent exact quote but it was something along the lines of 'liberals hate America—people who work hard, achieve, love God.' That’s pretty much exactly what he said but I didn’t get it exactly, which is why I didn’t use it."
Christopher Schuler, who also said he attended the event, sent this e-mail into the The Crypt: "I was at the arena Saturday morning in Concord, and heard Rep. Hayes say it. It was around 10:30 am. Taken back by it at first, but the entire crowd was loving it."
Schuler appears to be very close on the timing. Check out this contemporaneous Twit, posted on Saturday at 10:41.
We suppose that means Sara Gregory of the Daily Tar Heel gets the scoop, though she ended up not mentioning it in her write-up of the event. (Which she later Twittered as a regret.)
And thanks to local blogger Betsy Muse who helped us track this down. The Crypt considers the case closed, but if anybody has full audio of the event, please send it in.
Update 3: Hayes spokeswoman Little is still denying it and accuses The Crypt of "irresponsible journalism."
Meanwhile, local reporter Lisa Miller of WFAE has audio, which she's sending to The Crypt and which we'll post when we get it. She relistened to the audio and says the exact quote is: “Liberals hate real Americans that work and accomplish and achieve and believe in God.”
Update 4: Now the case is really, really closed. Here's the audio confirmation. We'll update with Hayes' reaction when it comes in
Editor's Note - Comments that include inappopriate or offensive language will be deleted. Thanks, John Bresnahan