Cooper critical of Trump, HB2

Posted May 4, 2016

— Democratic gubernatorial candidate Roy Cooper told business leaders Wednesday that House Bill 2 is costing the state jobs and should be repealed.

"We don't need this. We've got to get it behind us," Cooper told a gathering of the North Carolina Chamber in Raleigh.

Cooper, the state's attorney general, is running against Republican Gov. Pat McCrory.

After his formal remarks, Cooper told reporters that North Carolina "could improve our economy by getting rid of" House Bill 2.

On Wednesday morning, Republicans had blasted Cooper for urging companies to stay away from North Carolina due to the law.

"Roy Cooper’s fingerprints are all over the coordinated campaign to smear North Carolina and inflict economic damage on our state," said McCrory campaign manager Russell Peck, pointing to a story in the Wall Street Journal that indicated Cooper had been in touch with the chief executive of California-based Salesforce about the law.

"Instead of defending North Carolina, its business community and our hardworking citizens, Roy Cooper is actively communicating and working with the very CEOs who are trying to inflict economic damage on the state and prevent jobs from coming here," Peck said.

Cooper has refused defend House Bill 2 in court and said Wednesday he has communicated with a number of CEOs about the law.

"What I am doing is talking to businesses and telling them they need to come to North Carolina and they need to expand in North Carolina and that they need to work with us to get rid of this law," he said. "We don't need them to boycott North Carolina or to say that they're pulling out of North Carolina or pulling out of North Carolina in order to change things. We want them here to help us change things."

Cooper spoke to the N.C. Chamber the day after Donald Trump became the Republican Party's presumptive nominee for president.

"I've been concerned, and I've said this many times, about his divisive rhetoric and how he wants to try and divide people. I don't think we need that in North Carolina. In fact, we've got enough of that going on with our state leaders, and it's time for us to come together for positive change in North Carolina."

In the mean time, Republican leaders made a show of supporting Trump. North Carolina Republican Party Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse used a Wednesday afternoon news conference to make a show of inviting Trump to the upcoming state convention on Saturday, and new GOP state Chairman Robin Hayes said it was "good news" the party had a nominee.

Asked about Trump's often abrasive rhetoric toward women and minorities, Hayes said, "The past is past. He has said some things I wouldn't have said. I saw him last night begin the cleanup process. I hope it continues."


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  • Alex Yopp May 5, 2016
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    Federal Gov, US department of Justice says it's illegal. Coopers right. It will be nice seeing him as Governor and looking out for things of real importance. Duke's shell of a gov protecting the largest energy corp in the country is at an end.

  • Demute Sainte May 4, 2016
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    Cooper lost all respect when he began picking and choosing which laws he would defend.

  • Fanny Chmelar May 4, 2016
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    "His job is to enforce the law as passed by lawmakers regardless of his personal opinions" is where you are off a bit.

    His oath:
    "I, (name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will well and truly serve the State of North Carolina in the office of Attorney General ; I will, in the execution of my office, endeavor to have the criminal laws fairly and impartially administered, so far as in me lies, according to the best of my knowledge and ability; so help me, God."

    The last part is where it is: " according to the best of my knowledge and ability".

    He knows HB2 is unconstitutional and will no defend it. It's his job to not defend it. Also, "endeavor to have the criminal laws fairly and impartially administered" - HB2 isn't a criminal law, as far as I understand it.

  • Bryon Atkinson May 4, 2016
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    Keep digging your hole deeper. The comment about making the economy better is illogical. Only small parts of the state, those supported by corrupt politicians, have been prospering. Most of the state isn't. His stance is nothing more that those of past their prime entertainers that jump on a popular bandwagon just to keep their name in the spotlight. It is all about publicity and not the issues at hand. No doubt that HB2 needs a tweak or two. Many laws do. His job is to enforce the law as passed by lawmakers regardless of his personal opinions. I don't agree with some laws too but I am still bound to obey them....or I will be arrested. If he can't enforce the law and support a legally passed law, he needs to step aside and let law abiding citizens have the office.....or be legally removed as allowed by law.