North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper appeared to compare conservatives to a proverbial family's "embarrassing uncle" in a letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
Gov. Cooper was asking Bezos to build Amazon's second headquarters in North Carolina.
"Finally, I want to tell you that North Carolina is a welcoming state. Like every family with an embarrassing uncle or two, we have a few politicians who want it to be 1957 instead [of] 2017," argued Cooper.
"But here in North Carolina you'll find authentic people who respect others, who love our families, people who work hard and are loyal to the state in which we live."
Cities and states are in heavy competition for Amazon's second headquarters, which is expected to generate a great deal of jobs.
Cooper also touted North Carolina's diversity, and argued it would be an attractive location for young workers.
"North Carolina has earned a reputation for cool," he wrote, "and that's why we are attracting young people. ... And our people are diverse. The children in most of our urban public schools live in homes that speak nearly 100 languages or dialects."
Bezos is known for his progressive positions on social issues like same-sex marriage, as well as having largely donated to Democratic politicians.
Earlier this year, Amazon had narrowed the number of possible sites for the second headquarters from the original 238 to 20 candidates, of which Raleigh, North Carolina is one.
Last year, Cooper narrowly defeated Republican incumbent Pat McCrory in a gubernatorial election in which transgender bathrooms was a key issue.
Some have taken issue with Cooper's "embarrassing uncle" remarks. Christian Action League Executive Director Mark Creech called Cooper's comments "emblematic of the Governor's elitist views and condescension toward North Carolinians who still believe in good morals."
"These fine folks in our state are not backward or stuck in the 1950s because they believe in a Christian sexual ethic or that men shouldn't be allowed in women's restrooms, showers or locker rooms," said Creech in a statement released last Friday.
"I don't know what else to conclude about the Governor's appeal to Amazon except to say he's obviously embarrassed at any North Carolinian who would hold to what he believes are antiquated views."