Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), a GOP presidential candidate, in an exclusive interview with Breitbart News, slammed his chief rival and the party’s frontrunner billionaire Donald Trump over Trump’s comments on the bathroom law in North Carolina.
Trump said he opposed the law that requires transgendered people to use the restrooms accorded to their biological sex, and he said that things should be just left the way they are. Cruz told Breitbart News on Friday afternoon:
Yesterday morning on the Today Show, Donald Trump agreed with Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama that grown men should be allowed to use little girls’ restrooms. This is political correctness on steroids. It is basic common sense that a grown adult man, a stranger, should not be alone in a restroom with little girls. As a father of two young daughters, I can say unequivocally that’s a terrible idea. That is not a matter of right versus left or Democrat versus Republican. It’s a matter of common sense. The fact that Donald Trump is willing to join the PC police, the same zealots who just fired Curt Schilling from ESPN for making the obvious point that adult men should not be alone in a bathroom with little girls, illustrates that Donald meant it when he told us a couple of months he could be the most politically correct person on earth.
On the Today Show, Trump was asked about the North Carolina law that would not allow transgender folks to use the bathroom of their choice but require them to use the bathroom that corresponds with their biological makeup.
“North Carolina did something — it was very strong — and they’re paying a big price,” Trump said on the Today Show. “And there’s a lot of problems. And I heard — one of the best answers I heard was from a commentator yesterday saying, leave it the way it is, right now.”
“There’s a big move to create new bathrooms” for such transgender people for themselves, Trump added. “First of all, I think that would be discriminatory in a certain way. It would be unbelievably expensive for businesses and for the country,” Trump said of that plan. “Leave it the way it is.”
Trump, though, thinks it’s better to not change anything—and to not strengthen the laws the way North Carolina did.
“You leave it the way it is,” he said. “There have been very few complaints the way it is.”
Cruz, though, disagrees. In his exclusive interview with Breitbart News on Friday, the Texas Senator and thus far second place candidate for the GOP nomination for president, said that Trump’s comments indicate he’s not the conservative outsider he presents himself to be on the campaign trail. Cruz said:
This episode has even more significance when you combine it with the other remarkable things Donald has said in the last 48 hours. In that same interview, Donald came out in support of raising taxes. So now Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton both support raising taxes on the American people. Simultaneously, Donald’s campaign team was down in Florida with RNC party officials telling them that everything Donald has been saying on the campaign trail was simply a show. It’s all for appearances. He doesn’t mean any of it. He’s not going to build a wall. He’s not going to deport anyone. That’s just what he’s saying to try to fool the voters. Strikingly, what Donald’s campaign said is almost identical to what Donald himself told the New York Times editorial board in January—that he doesn’t believe what he says on immigration, that he’s not going to build a wall and he’s not going to deport anyone.
Meanwhile, Cruz hammered Trump for bringing on lobbyists like Paul Manafort, his new delegate and convention manager, and others. A story in Politico on Thursday detailed how Trump is bringing a variety of lobbyists aboard his campaign. Cruz said:
And, at the same time, we are discovering that Donald’s entire campaign has been taken over by career Washington lobbyists. The man running his campaign, Paul Manafort, has been a Washington lobbyist for 40 years representing dictators and torturers across the face of the globe. The man running Donald Trump’s campaign has been hundreds of thousands of dollars by Saudi Arabia to lobby against Israel and to lobby against moving the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and Donald’s lobbyist campaign manager has now brought in an army of Washington lobbyists to run every aspect of the campaign. As Carly Fiorina has powerfully pointed out, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are flip sides of the same coin. Hillary Clinton has made millions of dollars selling power and influence in Washington, and Donald Trump has made billions of dollars buying politicians like Hillary Clinton—trading power and influence. Donald Trump is the system, and his lobbyist campaign team is now saying very explicitly that Donald has been lying to us. I believe that Republicans want a candidate who actually knows what he believes, who’s not going to wake up tomorrow and embrace the liberal New York Democratic values that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have imposed on this country the last seven years.
The Politico report detailed how several lobbyists have joined the Trump campaign. Politico’s Ken Vogel and Isaac Arnsdorf wrote:
Among the influence industry veterans who have been helping the campaign in recent weeks, according to sources close to the Trump campaign, are Laurance Gay, who worked with Manafort on an effort to obtain a federal grant that one congressman called a ‘very smelly, sleazy business,’ and Doug Davenport, whose firm’s lobbying for an oppressive Southeast Asian regime became a liability for John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign. The pair join another former Manafort lobbying partner named Rick Gates, who was identified as an agent of a Ukrainian oligarch in a 2011 racketeering lawsuit that also named Manafort. And Manafort this week met with Marc Palazzo, a former lobbyist for a Koch Industries subsidiary who used to work as a communications staffer for GTECH Corp., the controversial lottery operator, to which Gay, Davenport, Gates and Manafort all have ties.
Cruz also said that Trump should answer a question that Breitbart News’s Dr. Susan Berry sent to the Trump campaign on Thursday and again on Friday.
“Would Mr. Trump be comfortable with a 4-year-old Ivanka going into a bathroom at Target in which there was a 35-year-old man wearing a dress. YES or NO?” Dr. Susan Berry asked the Trump campaign.
Trump’s team has yet to respond to the question. When read the question over the phone, and asked about it, Cruz said he thinks Trump is too scared to debate—but he should answer the question. Cruz specifically noted that there hasn’t been a GOP debate in 44 days—a full month and a half. Cruz said:
I think Donald is afraid of answering difficult questions. It is why he is scared to debate. It’s been 44 days since the last Republican debate. That is a great question to come up in a debate, and let Donald answer it. He doesn’t want to answer that question because there’s a tension between the campaign rhetoric he’s been using to fool the voters, and what Donald actually believes. What Donald believes are the liberal Manhattan Democratic values that he has embodied his entire life. It is why Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton both support taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood. It is why Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton both support the individual mandate in Obamacare. And so Donald doesn’t want to answer that question or any difficult question. It is striking that both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have had one debate, and they’ve scheduled another debate. Both liberal Democrats are more willing to have their positions challenged, to be under the scrutiny of the voters, than Donald Trump. And part of the reason is he doesn’t have any meaningful solutions for the problems facing this country. If you ask Donald how we bring jobs back to this country, he has no idea. He has no economic policies that make any sense. He simply yells and screams and curses a lot. And one of the reasons why so many Republicans are uniting behind our campaign is that we want to be supporting a campaign with a positive optimistic forward-looking conservative vision with real solutions to bring jobs back to America, to reduce the burdens on small businesses, to bring manufacturing jobs back to America, to raise wages for working men and women—and Donald Trump has no answers to that, which is why he has refused to debate for 44 days straight now.
Earlier on Friday, Breitbart News reported that a Pennsylvania man was charged with photographing a 10-year-old girl in a public restroom at a store. When asked about that, Cruz noted that this issue affects people in Pennsylvania and everywhere in the country. He went on:
I spent five and a half years as the Solicitor General for Texas, the chief lawyer for the state in front of the U.S. Supreme Court—and having spent those years in law enforcement I dealt with case after case of child molesters and pedophiles, predators who had taken advantage of and abused small children. Under Donald Trump’s political correctness, if a pedophile enters the women’s restroom waiting for little girls, law enforcement is not allowed to remove him. That makes no sense and the PC police need to answer the question of what you would say to that little girl who is abused because of nonsensical policies that refuse to recognize that there is a difference between men and women and the modern Democratic Party wants to pretend there are no differences.
Cruz wouldn’t criticize Caitlyn Jenner, a transgender woman formerly known as Bruce Jenner, who is actually supporting his campaign despite thinking he is “misunderstood” on these issues. When asked about Jenner’s position on these issues regarding transgender people and public restrooms, and about how Trump said he would let Jenner use whatever bathroom—men’s or women’s—in Trump Tower than Jenner wanted to, Cruz didn’t even mention Jenner in his response. Cruz said:
Adult men who are strangers should not be alone in the bathroom with little girls. That is basic common sense. It is remarkable that Donald Trump cannot see that. But it’s not surprising because the politicians Donald Trump has supported for the last 40 years—Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Eliot Spitzer, Anthony Weiner, Hillary Clinton—every one of those liberal Democratic politicians likewise supports policies allowing grown men to go into the restroom with little girls. Enough is enough with this PC nonsense. The Obama administration right now is litigating against a junior high, trying to force the junior high to let a teenage boy shower with teenage girls. That’s not a reasonable public policy position. That is foolishness and it’s dangerous, and those are the policies that Donald Trump supports and those are the policies that the liberal Democrats that Donald Trump has funded support as well. They are not policies supported by the American people.
Cruz said that the instance of Boston Red Sox great Curt Schilling getting fired from ESPN over common sense criticisms of the transgender bathroom issue is a sign that “of course” political correctness has gone off the rails in American media and culture. Schilling appeared earlier in the day on Breitbart News Daily with Stephen K. Bannon on Sirius XM 125 The Patriot Channel to note that he isn’t apologizing because he did nothing wrong, and he won’t back down. Cruz continued:
There is a liberal intolerance that seeks to punish anyone who dares speak out against political correctness. It is an intolerance for free speech that Donald Trump has reflected as well when he has said he wants to punish newspaper reporters who dare criticize him. The left engages in bullying, they engage in using brute political force to punish those who disagree with them. Real conservatives actually believe in individual liberty, and believe in free speech. The same way Donald Trump says if any company actually dares leave America, he will punish them—that is almost to what Obama and Hillary say, that they’re going to impose fines and penalties on any company that leaves America. The companies leaving America are being driven out by misguided leftwing policies that are making it harder and harder for small businesses to survive. Rather than using force to punish those who disagree with you—which is the approach of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama—we should be working to create and environment that businesses want to come and expand jobs. As president, my priorities will be jobs, freedom and economic growth—and by reducing the taxes and regulations that are hammering small businesses. By ending amnesty, securing the borders, ending sanctuary cities, and stopping welfare benefits for illegal aliens, we will see millions of new high-paying jobs come back to America, manufacturing jobs coming back to America, wages rising. So, in three or four years, we’ll hear yet more talk about corporate inversions but this time it’s going to be other countries complaining that their businesses are leaving their countries to come to America because it’s such a good place to do business—creating jobs here, driving up wages. That’s the proper approach. That’s not Donald Trump’s approach. Donald Trump’s approach is the approach of big government power to punish you and indeed that’s the same approach Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have. It doesn’t work. I believe in the power of the American people, not the brute force of the government to punish anyone who dares to oppose Big Brother.
When asked, to conclude the interview, if he believes that Trump’s answer here is proof that Trump is not prepared on issues or has no ideological core, Cruz replied that he thinks it’s worse than that:
It’s worse than that. Trump is and always has been a New York liberal. That’s why he supported partial birth abortion for most of his life. That’s why today he supports taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood just like Hillary Clinton. It’s why in the last 48 hours he came out for abandoning the pro-life planks of the Republican Party. It is why he is advocating for allowing grown men into the bathroom with little girls just like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. It is why he supports the individual mandate in Obamacare just like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. It is why he is advocating raising taxes just like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. It is why he supports allowing illegal immigrants to become citizens just like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton although Donald would have them fly back to their home countries first and then come back as U.S. citizens. Those are his values.
Cruz also, for the first time since Trump’s big win in New York, once again hammered Trump for “New York Values.” That criticism got him in trouble in the Empire State, where he won no delegates after hitting Trump with the phrase earlier in the cycle, but now that the map shifts back to America’s heartland with Nebraska and Indiana in the month of May, Cruz is turning back to the attack line. He said:
They are liberal New York values and you know one of the most insightful comments made recently was made by Jonah Goldberg of National Review—it was when Donald Trump went on television and called for punishing women who have abortions. Jonah pointed out how Donald was rightly criticized by both pro-life supporters and pro-choice supporters for his ridiculous position calling for punishment of women. This is an important insight, Jonah said that is something that is said by a liberal that is pretending to be a conservative. A New York liberal who’s trying to pretend to be pro-life thinks that pro-lifers want to punish women. No one who is actually pro-life, who’s actually thought through the issues and principles, would ever believe that because with every abortion there are two victims: The unborn child whose life is taken, and the mother. There are millions of women who grieve about the consequences of abortion, who grieve about being pressured into abortion, sometimes against their wishes by Planned Parenthood and those who profit from the business of abortion. And Jonah linked it to a similar incident when Donald was on CNN and Donald was asked about Donald being endorsed by David Duke, the former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. Donald refused to denounce the Ku Klux Klan, and Jonah pointed out that a liberal thinks that conservatives wouldn’t want him to denounce the Ku Klux Klan because a New York liberal believes that’s who conservatives are. Anyone who is a principled conservative wouldn’t hesitate to say the Klan is evil and bigoted and racist and has no place in American society—and denounce the Klan in an instant. All of these comments that are playing out are Donald revealing who he really is: A New York liberal who put on a mask for a few months to pretend he was a conservative and as Donald observed just a few months ago he was the establishment. He is the establishment. He funded not only Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi when took over Congress and passed Obamacare, but he also funded the Republican establishment when they sought to crush the Tea Party and crush conservatives—and that’s why the Trump campaign is now run by Washington lobbyists who want to expand the cronyism, expand the power of Washington over our lives and we’re all seeing Donald’s true colors.