Emails unveiled by WikiLeaks from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta, show him telling Clinton that he wants to avoid the campaign getting drawn into a lengthy debate about transgender bathrooms.
“Just trying to avoid getting sucked into a debate that will last for months and months about transgender bathrooms,” Podesta wrote in an November 2015 email with the subject line “I’m not trying to be politically correct.”
Podesta suggested the campaign should avoid taking a clear position against federal bathroom rules. “I think a hard rule that DC has no business in this space sucks us into the controversy,” he said.
In May, Obama announced a new federal policy to pressure K-12 schools to make all their bathrooms dual-sex. The policy was cheered by the Democrats’ gay activist groups, but was also opposed by the public, according to polls.
In the November email, Podesta argued the campaign should criticize conservatives and the GOP, rather than openly support or oppose transgender bathrooms. “I agree with Joel that we are better off just attacking the other side,” he wrote, likely referring to Joel Benenson, the campaign’s chief strategist and pollster.
In September of this year, Clinton told voters that North Carolina’s bathroom privacy and safety bill was “bad for business” and an example of Republicans trying to overreach.