Ted Cruz blasted Donald Trump on Thursday after the Republican presidential front-runner said transgender people should “use the bathroom that they feel is appropriate.”
Speaking at a “Today” show town hall Thursday morning, Trump said North Carolina's so-called "bathroom law," which directs transgender people to use the bathroom that matches the gender on their birth certificates, has caused unnecessary strife.
“There have been very few complaints the way it is,” Trump said. “People go, they use the bathroom that they feel is appropriate. There has been so little trouble.”
Trump said if Caitlyn Jenner, a transgender woman who was previously known as Olympic gold medal winner Bruce Jenner, were to walk into Trump Tower, she could use whichever bathroom she wanted.
But Cruz immediately slammed Trump for the remarks, which polls show are out of step with a majority of the Republican electorate. A late March YouGov poll found 55 percent of Republicans supported a law requiring people to use the bathroom that matches the gender of their birth. Only 21 percent of Republicans in the poll opposed such a law.
“Donald said men should be able to go into girls’ bathrooms if they want to,” Cruz said Thursday during a rally in Frederick, Md. “Let me ask you: Have we gone stark-raving nuts?”
Calling Trump’s rhetoric politically correct nonsense rather than common sense, the Texas senator mocked the billionaire businessman’s famous “Make America Great Again” slogan.
“A few months ago, Donald told us he could be the most PC person on Earth,” Cruz said. “Guess that’s what we’re seeing. I’m waiting for new baseball caps – ‘Make PC Great Again.’”
The North Carolina law, which was signed in late March, brought the bathroom issue to the forefront of national politics.
Some prominent music acts have since refused to play in the state and several corporations have expressed displeasure with the measure. Retail giant Target on Wednesday released a statement clarifying that its position is to let people use whichever bathroom fits their gender identity.
Ex-Major League Baseball player Curt Schilling was fired by ESPN on Wednesday after the former pitcher posted a meme on his Facebook page in support of bathroom laws. Cruz, speaking earlier Thursday on Glenn Beck’s radio show, called Schilling’s position a “rather obvious point.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.