Former Gov. Pat McCrory put up a strong defense of HB2, the so-called “bathroom bill,” but emails obtained by The Charlotte Observer through a legal request show the work wore on him.
The law McCrory signed eliminating legal LGBT protections after the Charlotte City Council passed protections for transgender people has resulted in damage to the state’s economy and reputation. But the emails suggest McCrory’s main concern was the beating his image was taking.
When ABC news reported the NBA was considering moving its All-Star game from Charlotte, McCrory wrote to a staffer, “Get ABC to mention bathrooms!!!!” In response to a story about big businesses’ opposition to HB2, McCrory wrote staffers, “Where is our equal response. We cannot let there (sic) argument go unchallenged. They are attacking our state!” The governor was repudiated by conservatives when he tried to change HB2 through an executive order. “Now right is mad too,” he wrote. “I love this job.”
McCrory couldn’t win by defending HB2, but he wouldn’t admit it. He would have done better if he had vetoed the bill, let the legislature override him, and then worked to get the law repealed.