Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback says North Carolina Republicans need to rally behind Gov. Pat McCrory as he faces opposition from House Bill 2.
Brownback spoke to the North Carolina delegation breakfast at the Republican National Convention on Tuesday. He brought up McCrory’s appearance in the national spotlight over the controversial LGBT law that, among other provisions, requires transgender people in government facilities to use the bathroom that corresponds with their birth certificate.
“He’s got caught up in the middle of the gender issue,” Brownback said of his North Carolina counterpart. “When you get in one of these social issues, boy, the long knives come out, and it gets mean. ... The other side is just trying to butcher him up.”
Brownback said he supports McCrory’s decision to sign and defend HB2. “He’s out there trying to do the right thing,” he said.
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Brownback argued that the North Carolina’s governor’s race will be one of the most crucial contests for Republicans this fall.
“We’ve got to have North Carolina,” he said. “We need you guys in this. We need my friend Pat McCrory back in as governor. He’s a fabulous guy.”
Brownback was also the latest in a series of convention speakers to call for reluctant Republicans to unite behind Donald Trump. “Some of you may be like me and weren’t Trump supporters to begin with,” he said. “This is the deal: he ran and he won, so we support him. And if you’re looking for a reason: The Supreme Court, look no further.”
Brownback drew applause from the North Carolina delegates when he praised the late U.S. Sen. Jesse Helms. “What a gentleman,” Brownback said. “I never met a guy whose public image was more different from his private conduct.”