Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday, where host Jake Tapper asked him to respond to transgender celebrity Caitlyn Jenner’s critique that his objections to transgender people being allowed to use whichever bathroom they want is unfounded.
Jenner was in New York City this week, where the reality TV star participated in a New York Times Q&A on transgender issues and visited the Trump Tower to test and see if a transgender woman could use the woman’s restroom.
The former Olympian and father of six recorded a video of the bathroom experiment.
“Thank you, Donald. I really appreciate it,” Jenner told the camera after exiting the ladies’ room. “And by the way Ted, nobody got molested.”
Though Jenner, a Republican, claims to side with Cruz on most political and economic issues, the two stand on opposite sides of the debate over so-called “bathroom bills” that require individuals to use the public restrooms and changing facilities that correspond to their biological sex, regardless of how they identify.
When asked earlier this week about the safety concerns that many, including Cruz, have voiced about sexual predators using the guise of transgenderism as a means of abusing women and children, Jenner explained that this matter should not be included in the debate.
“That is against the law,” Jenner told Times reporter Nicholas Kristof. “It’s already on the books.”
Cruz told Tapper Sunday that he will not be changing his stance.
“In my view, this is not a matter of Right or Left or Democratic/Republican. This is common sense,” he began. “It doesn’t make sense for grown adult men — strangers — to be alone in a restroom with a little girl.”
“And this is the height of political correctness,” Cruz added. “And frankly the concern is not the Caitlyn Jenners of the world. But if the law is such that any man if he feels like it can go in a women’s restroom and you can’t ask him to leave, that opens the door for predators.”
The Texas senator noted that he spent many years in law enforcement, during which he came across many instances of child predators.
“But I don’t think that’s what the law is,” Tapper said.
“Of course it is,” Cruz insisted.
Tapper argued that these “bathroom bills” only secure the rights of transgender people who “identify as female,” not heterosexual men or child predators.
“But the law doesn’t specify transgender,” Cruz noted. “It’s just whatever you feel like at the given moment.”