The Sun Drop No. 3 car that Dale Earnhardt Jr. drove on Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2022 to a third-place finish at North Wilkesboro Speedway.

Why NC Governor Roy Cooper loves Diet Sundrop soda

Sun Drop #3 drove by Dale Earnhardt Jr. on Wednesday, August 31, 2022, to finish third at North Wilkesboro Speedway.

Sun Drop #3 drove by Dale Earnhardt Jr. on Wednesday, August 31, 2022, to finish third at North Wilkesboro Speedway.

Roy Cooper is the governor of North Carolina and president of the Democratic Governors Association.

It’s also, as he sarcastically told me this week, “My legs are diet soda.”

The video, posted by WRAL reporter Travis Vine to the exchange, went viral on Tuesday night, and has now garnered more than 45,000 views.

By Wednesday, Cooper had put it in the NC_G Governor Twitter Biographyalso: “Official account of the 75th Governor of North Carolina. My diet soda drink. Signed tweets from Roy – RC.”

Here is a video sharing.

Me: “So is it basically Mountain Dew, sort of?”

Cooper: No. hard to explain. So Mountain Dew – I’m like a diet soda leg. So, Mountain Dew, sweeter than Diet Sundrop. Diet Sun Drop has a slightly more pungent taste.”

Cooper’s sense of humor, like so many people in North Carolina politics, is highly complex. So he talks about soft drinks in the same tone of voice that he talks about in public policy.

NASCAR 02-090822-EDH.jpg
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper speaks during a press conference announcing that the NASCAR All-Star Race will be held at North Wilkesboro Speedway in May 2023. The press conference was held on the steps of the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh, North Carolina, Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022. Ethan Heyman

Here’s the back story on why we talk about citrus soda:

Prominent lawmakers often take some of the reporters’ questions after the events. A press speech is a “cool off” or “short availability,” which means reporters gather like a bunch of geese around a politician, who is available for a few minutes to talk to them.

Senate Leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore do so regularly in the Legislative Building. It starts with getting all the technical stuff in place, which usually means having a TV reporter set up his or her camera on a tripod. We usually exchange pleasantries, have short conversations and jokes while we wait for everyone to get ready. It’s friendly and time passes between the two parties: we have the same kind of conversations with politicians from both parties.

On Tuesday, Cooper walked into the room after the state council meeting to speak with Fine and I, turned to me and asked, “Have you tried that?”

“Do what?” I asked.

Cooper: “Sundrop. I saw you’d try that.”

North Carolina politicians love them for some Sundrop and Diet Sundrop. I think I’m starting to notice it on the desks of House members on the floor of the chamber or in the committee, and sometimes they’ll mention it.

Southern Living magazine recently wrote about Sundrop Southern Roots.

This summer, Cooper Tweet about drinks, including several times in one week. Ford Porter, Communications Director, sarcasm in august Quote-Tweet by Cooper that “The Governor’s passion for the sundrop is a real thing for people. Problematic limits.”

A few days ago I tweeted: “I just added Diet Sundrop to my shopping list. Blame #ncpol for this.”

So when Cooper asked him if I had tried it yet, I told him—again, that was just the moment he was putting on the Fain mic—that I hadn’t been to the store yet. Ask an employee to grab one.

Fain asked the governor how deeply he took his Sun Drops, so that was the point when he took Fain’s video, where Cooper replied by saying he probably shouldn’t be drinking too much.

Some respondents on Twitter wanted to know the rest of the conversation. I was on this 7Up diet that was better than the Sprite Diet, but Cooper said those don’t contain caffeine.

He’s the governor of North Carolina, so he’s back to talking about Mountain Dew.

“Mountain Dew is PepsiCo, still registered in North Carolina, in New Bern, North Carolina, so we have to pay due respect to PepsiCo as well,” Cooper said.

Sundrop is owned by Keurig Dr Pepperwhich also owns Seven Up, Schweppes, RC Cola and Hawaiian Punch.

Cooper finished putting his microphone on, and the conversation turned to a more serious political topic: expanding Medicaid.

A can of Sundrop Diet, a citrus soda and a favorite of North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper. Dawn B. Vaughan

FTW Sundrop Diet

Diet Sun Drop was taken over, and Cooper asked what I thought of it.

Ever as a skeptical reporter, I didn’t give her praise right away.

I said “Very good”.

On my way back to my car, I drank the whole can. 10 am

My husband brought home 12 cans from the store that night. I drink sundrops for diet as I write this story. Diet Sundrop gets a W drop.

For more North Carolina government and politics news, listen to the Under the Dome Politics podcast from The News & Observer and NC Insider. You can find it in Or wherever you get your podcasts.

This story was originally published September 14, 2022 2:10 pm.

Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan covers North Carolina government and politics at The News & Observer. She has previously covered Durham, and is the recipient of the McClatchy President’s Award, the NC Open Government Coalition Sunshine Award and several North Carolina Press Association awards, including policy and investigative journalism.

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