Chris Christie worries children are confused these days by terrorism — and by transgender people using the restroom.
That odd pairing was made Monday by the presidential candidate during a campaign stop in New Hampshire, reports CNN, where he was asked about a California law that requires schools to let trans students use bathrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity.
"Why do we do this to our children? It doesn't make any sense," said Christie. "So I don't know. I'm the common sense guy from New Jersey, you know, I don't think life needs to be this complicated. I think it needs to be a lot more straightforward."
"Life is confusing enough right now for our children," he added, suddenly bringing up the school closings in Los Angeles after a threat there. Then he went into a long aside about the terrorist attack in San Bernardino, summing them both up with a proclamation that "children learn better, grow up better, mature better when they live in a safe and secure and loving environment."
The 70-year-old voter who asked the question told CNN she worries that if the same law ever passes at the federal level, then her grandchildren could be tormented by boys who try to get into the girls locker room. It's the same kind of provably false rumor about these laws that was spread in Houston, where an equal rights ordinance was defeated earlier this year after a campaign built on fearmongering about bathroom and locker room use by trans people.
Christie implied they don't have this issue in New Jersey.
"Men go to men's rooms, women go to women's rooms," he said of his home state. "And there really shouldn't be a whole lot of confusion about that — public accommodations. And I don't think we should be making life more confusing for our children."
Moreover, Christie told the voter he worries kids can't decide which bathroom to use.
"The fact though is that we want our kids not to have to decide which bathroom they get to go in," he said, according to CNN. "And not to be subject to peer pressure about which one to go in. And not to be subject to the embarrassment that could come with going in a bathroom where somebody maybe doesn't agree that they should be in there or not."
Earlier this year, Christie vetoed — for the second consecutive year — legislation that would have made it easier for transgender residents of New Jersey to obtain accurate legal identification, citing unsubstantiated concerns about "fraud." Current law only allows identification to be updated to reflect gender identity if a person has had gender-confirming surgery. When asked later on a conservative radio show whether he has compassion for trans people, Christie could be heard laughing about the veto.
“I have to tell the truth, Michael, there are certain things that just go beyond the pale, and that’s not what I wanted the law to be in New Jersey," he said on the The Michael Medved Show in August. "It doesn’t make any sense to me, and that’s why I vetoed it again, and if they send it to me again, I will veto it again.”