Elections

McCrory: Cooper shares responsibility for HB2

Governor Pat McCrory speaks during a visit to the North Carolina Association of Community College Trutees conference Thursday, September 8, 2016 at the Charlotte Marriott City Center. Photo by JASON E. MICZEK - Special to the Observer
Governor Pat McCrory speaks during a visit to the North Carolina Association of Community College Trutees conference Thursday, September 8, 2016 at the Charlotte Marriott City Center. Photo by JASON E. MICZEK - Special to the Observer WWW.MICZEKPHOTO.COM

After speaking in Charlotte Thursday, Republican Gov. Pat McCrory slammed his Democratic opponent over education and House Bill 2.

McCrory said Attorney General Roy Cooper “has a history of doing nothing” on education. And he blamed Cooper and the “political left” for prompting the law known as HB2.

McCrory also declined to elaborate on comments he made Wednesday that the N.C. Chamber helped write portions of HB2. A Chamber official denied that Thursday.

It all underscores the fact that HB2 continues to be an issue in the governor’s race.

The governor made his comments to a handful of reporters after speaking to a conference of community college trustees at Charlotte’s Marriott City Center. Cooper, speaking earlier to the same group, called for prioritizing education over tax cuts and said, “We don’t need things like HB2.”

The General Assembly passed and McCrory signed the law in March after the Charlotte City Council passed an ordinance extending anti-discrimination protection to the LGBT community and allowing transgender people to use the bathroom of the gender they identify with.

HB2 prevents cities from adopting such ordinances and requires transgender individuals to use the bathroom or locker room of the gender they were born with in schools and other government-run buildings.

The law is now the subject of several legal challenges, including one by the U.S. Justice Department.

“It was the mayor of this city, with the support of Roy Cooper and now the president of the United States, who’s bringing a very radical idea – redefining gender – and putting a new mandate at the federal level on all businesses and all universities and our schools regarding letting boys use the girls’ bathroom and shower facilities,” McCrory said.

On education, McCrory questioned Cooper’s “track record of leadership.”

“I’m a man of action and a leader of ideas,” he said. “And I don’t just talk about them. We do them.”

“The only leadership Gov. McCrory has shown is in signing discriminatory laws that have cost us jobs and hurt our reputation,” said Cooper spokesman Ford Porter.

“The governor may not want to admit the economic damage HB2 has done, but the truth is he drove jobs away when he signed HB2 under the dark of night. … Pat McCrory’s top priority has been his ridiculous and harmful law and North Carolinians who care about good jobs and quality schools deserve better.”

Discussing the bill at an event in Winston-Salem Wednesday, McCory said the state’s largest business group helped write part of it.

“It’s only a five-page bill,” he said, according to WRAL. “There are four parts of it, two parts the Chamber of Commerce helped write here in North Carolina.”

On Thursday, Chamber vice president Kate Catlin Payne said, “The North Carolina Chamber had no part in suggesting, drafting or reviewing House Bill 2 and anyone who suggests otherwise is misrepresenting the facts.”

McCrory declined to address the discrepancy Thursday.

“I’m moving on, guys,” he told reporters. “That subject is irrelevant because the issue is now a national issue.”

Jim Morrill: 704-358-5059, @jimmorrill

  Comments