Campaign Tracker

McCrory ad focuses on HB2, citing safety

A TV commercial from Gov. Pat McCrory’s campaign focuses on safety rather than privacy in the debate over opening public restrooms to people according to their gender identity.

The message is a change of tone for the governor, who has emphasized that his opposition was based on privacy, not safety. McCrory told a national audience on Fox News in May that House Bill 2 wasn’t about spreading fear that molesters would use transgender protections to commit crimes in restrooms.

The commercial features a Greensboro woman saying she was molested as a child. She said she was “horrified” that Attorney General Roy Cooper and President Barack Obama “want to force school children to use the same locker rooms, showers and restrooms.”

Cooper opposes HB2 and has declined to defend it in court. The Obama administration issued a directive to schools meant to expand access to bathrooms for transgender students. On Sunday, a federal judge in Texas blocked the directive.

The speaker thanks McCrory for standing up to “extreme pressure.”

“The truth is that HB2 has cost North Carolina hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of jobs,” Ford Porter, spokesman for Attorney General Roy Cooper’s campaign for governor. “But instead of repealing it, Governor McCrory wants to use HB2 for political purposes. North Carolina families deserve better.”

The McCrory campaign did not send out a news release about the ad. It did distribute another ad on Monday, emphasizing raises for teachers.

A spokesman for McCrory said it was the campaign’s policy not to comment on ad strategy or media buys.

Craig Jarvis: 919-829-4576, @CraigJ_NandO