NC's Cooper says GOP 'broke its word,' pledges to sue

Roy Cooper: HB2 damaged state's reputation
Roy Cooper: HB2 damaged state's reputation

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Roy Cooper: HB2 damaged state's reputation 02:00

Story highlights

  • North Carolina's next governor heads into a tense, partisan fight
  • He pledged to sue his opposition party for overreach

(CNN)North Carolina Gov.-elect Roy Cooper said Thursday the state GOP "broke its word" on a deal to repeal the "bathroom bill" and pledged once again to sue the GOP for moves to curtail his powers and advantaging the GOP in election years.

Since Cooper narrowly defeated incumbent Republican Gov. Pat McCrory in a drawn-out election last month, the state Republican Party has moved swiftly to curtail the Democrat's future authority on several matters and advantaging the GOP in election years.
    Earlier this week, the North Carolina legislature failed to repeal the state's controversial "bathroom bill" in a special session. Cooper told CNN's Jake Tapper on "The Lead" that the failure was a result of dishonesty on the part of the GOP, which holds majorities in both the state House and Senate.
    "The Republican legislative leadership broke its word. It said that if the Charlotte City Council would repeal its ordinance, then they would fully repeal House Bill 2. But what happened was is that they refused to put a House Bill 2 repeal bill on the floor of both the House and the Senate," Cooper said.
    Cooper also argued public support was on his side and cited national backlash against the state. Following the bill's passage, several businesses said they would cancel their plans in the state and the Department of Justice filed a civil rights suit over the measure.
    After the Department of Justice filed its suit, McCrory said on CNN that the suit was "an insult" and "a political statement instead of a legal statement" from the Obama administration.
    The Supreme Court accepted a related case from Virginia this fall after issuing an emergency stay to stop a transgender boy from using the men's bathroom at his high school.
    Regarding the outgoing governor's coordination with the state legislature to, among other things, limit the power of the state's executive branch and changes to election laws, Cooper reiterated his plans to settle the matter in court.
    "I'm going to fight them on this, because it was not just a power grab. It was an attempt by them to be able to change who controls education policy, tax policy, elections. And I'm not going to let them do that," Cooper said. "We will see them in court."
    Despite the Democrat's harsh words for the opposing party, he did also pledge to work with them, saying, "People want us to work together."