UPDATED Gov. Pat McCrory is putting the LGBT bathroom issues back in the spotlight with a new TV ad campaign launched Wednesday.
McCrory doesn’t mention House Bill 2 in the ad, but addresses the provision in the law that precludes protections for people who want to use the restroom of the gender they identify with, over concerns with privacy and safety.
The ad picks up on the style of previous McCrory commercials that portray the governor as a calm, rational voice of common sense opposed to political correctness run amok.
“You know, when we were raising average teacher pay, creating new jobs and cutting taxes, other folks were actually pushing to make our schools allow boys to use the girl's locker rooms and showers,” the Republican governor says in the ad. “Are we really talking about this? Does the desire to be politically correct outweigh our children's privacy and safety? Not on my watch. Our kids and teachers are my priority. This is North Carolina. Let's do what's right.”
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A statement accompanying the spot criticizes McCrory’s opponent, Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper, as emphasizing his opposition to HB2 to promote his political campaign.
The campaign declined to disclose how much it is spending on the commercial and where or when it will air.
Update: Cooper’s campaign issued a news release in response, citing a recent remark by the governor in an interview calling HB2 an “irrelevant” issue. Because the Obama administration’s directive on LGBT protections has been challenged by a number of states it will ultimately be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, McCrory said.
“While ‘on his watch,’ North Carolina has lost the NBA All-Star Game, thousands of jobs, and hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue,” spokesman Jamal Little said. “... How can we fix this problem if we have a governor who won’t even acknowledge it exists?”
Little said Cooper would try to muster support to repeal HB2 if elected governor.