Source: Editorial Staff
Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson – the man known for his anti-LGBTQ+ diatribes, antisemitism, hypocrisy on abortion rights, and non-belief in science and climate change – took a much different tone in his response to Gov. Roy Cooper’s “State of the State” address last week.
Although he hasn’t officially declared a run for governor in 2024, his response was the same as other right-wing extremists who have pretended to pivot toward the middle before running for higher office. Instead of spouting off about how transgender people are “demonic,” the “Antichrist” and “[d]ragging…kids down into the pit of hell,” or how he would ban “abortion in North Carolina for any reason,” as he did on a podcast and radio show, respectively, back in February, Robinson took a less extreme tone that he’s never used before.
Robinson talked about growing up in poverty with a single mother and nine siblings after his alcoholic and abusive father died. He talked about the work that Republicans in the legislature have done over the last several years and about his vision for the future of North Carolina – without addressing any of his “greatest hits.”
It was a bit different than what he had to say just two days earlier when he spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington.
Just 90 seconds into his speech, after thanking God and Jesus for blessing America, he attacked the Biden administration over border security and blamed “ABC, CNN, BLM [and] Antifa” for “calling to have the police defunded” and “lying…saying that our policemen are racist…and violent.”
He then moved on to thanking “those brave mothers and fathers who would be called domestic terrorists” for “speak[ing] up at a school board meeting for their children because they refuse to have their children indoctrinated by CRT and have been presented with pornography.” He also thanked “those teachers that are in those classrooms every day pushing back against those agendas” and the military “despite the fact that [people] want them to be woke.”
Explaining why he will likely run for governor, Robinson compared himself to American soldiers in World War II, saying that just like the young men watching their friends get slaughtered while storming Omaha Beach, his purpose is service.
Robinson said that when someone asked him why he wants to run for governor he thought about it for a long time in the car and “came to a conclusion” that “I don’t want to be governor…I didn’t even want to be lieutenant governor” much like those men in World War II probably didn’t want to be fighting in Europe.
Sticking with the WWII comparison, Robinson said that “I cannot sit at home and watch this world burn and have my nation in trouble. It’s time for me to stand up and serve up to and including giving my life if necessary.”
Voters who don’t know much about Robinson shouldn’t let his somewhat measured response to the governor’s address paint a picture of who he truly is. He is still the man who happily goes into churches across the state to talk about using his AR-15s against the government, talks about his disgust with those who love people different than who he loves, talks about his outrage over children being taught the truth about their state and country, believes women can’t and shouldn’t be leaders, and has accused Jews of being “globalists” intent on destroying Donald Trump and has used Yiddish slurs to attack them.
There was none of that talk in his State of the State response. In fact, and quite ironically, Robinson addressed the kind of talk he’s best known for, complaining that “thoughtful discussion” has been replaced by “heated rhetoric.” It’s not clear if Robinson was joking or if he truly does not realize that he’s one of the worst offenders in the entire nation.
By allowing Robinson to respond to Cooper instead of legislative leaders like House Speaker Tim Moore or Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger – as is tradition – the North Carolina Republican Party has made the lieutenant governor the de facto party leader. It’s a decision that could very well come back to haunt them in November 2024.