Ted Cruz is continuing to hammer Donald Trump over his Thursday remarks on so-called bathroom laws in states such as North Carolina that prevent transgender people from using the restrooms of their choice.
“How many of y’all here are tired of politicians lying to us?” Cruz rhetorically asked a crowd at a Friday rally in Pennsylvania.
Then, Cruz brought up Trump’s Thursday comments to the “Today” show asserting that transgender people should be able to use “whatever bathrooms they want.”
In light of the remarks, Cruz compared Trump to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama.
He “said that grown men should be allowed to use the girls restroom,” Cruz said. “You know, a couple of months ago, Donald Trump told us he could be the most politically correct person on earth. Well, we’re beginning to see what that looks like. Let me tell you, this isn’t a question of left or right or Democrat or Republican, this is basic common sense.”
“Yeah it is,” a member of the audience shouted out. “They’re men.”
“I am the father of two daughters, and lemme tell you, no one in their right mind wants to see a grown adult man, a stranger, alone in the bathroom with little girls,” Cruz added.
Cruz’s campaign released an attack ad on the subject Friday as well. The ad featured a narrator discussing ESPN’s recent firing of former Major League Baseball star pitcher Curt Schilling.
Schilling, who was serving as an analyst with the network, was fired after sharing a Facebook post featuring a man dressed in drag and commenting that “A man is a man no matter what they call themselves.”
“I don’t care what they are, who they sleep with, men’s room was designed for the penis, women’s not so much,” the post continued. “Now you need laws telling us differently? Pathetic.”
In Cruz’s ad, the narrator claimed Schilling was “fired by the PC police.”
“Curt Schilling was fired by the PC police for suggesting that grown men shouldn’t use the bathroom with little girls,” the narrator said. “Guess who’s joined the ranks of the PC police?”
The ad then played a clip of Trump from Thursday’s “Today” show town hall.
That ad followed up another from Cruz’s campaign released Thursday, where a text overlay asked the question, “Should a grown man pretending to be a woman be allowed to use the women’s restroom?”
It then called out Trump for being “one of” the “PC police.”
Cruz released a statement shortly after Trump’s initial comments on Thursday, lambasting Trump for being “no different from politically correct leftist elites.”
“This is not real tolerance,” Cruz said. “The Left wants to force its belief system onto Americans across the country and silence people of faith in the public square. Unsurprisingly, Donald Trump is all too eager to join them.”
The comments from that stoked Cruz’s ire came on Thursday, when Trump was asked during that Thursday town-hall event about North Carolina’s law specifically, which has been painted by critics as anti-transgender. It directs transgender people to use public bathrooms that match the gender on their birth certificates.
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, a Republican in the midst of a re-election fight, has faced condemnation from businesses that canceled plans to move to or expand in the state in the aftermath of the law’s implementation.
“North Carolina did something that was very strong, and they’re paying a big price,” Trump said, calling for people to be able to use “whatever bathrooms they want” because “there has been so little trouble.”
“Leave it the way it is,” he added.
Trump later backed off of his remarks slightly in an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity on Thursday night.
“I think that local communities and states should make the decision, and I feel very strongly about that,” he told Hannity after again mentioning that the North Carolina law is causing problems economically. “The federal government should not be involved.”
Trump did say earlier in the interview that the bill applies to a “small number” of people “but we have to take care of everybody, frankly.”