Source: Elizabeth City Daily Advance
Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson has once again attached himself to disgraced, twice-impeached and multiple-times indicted ex-President Donald Trump, this time calling the third Trump indictment – four felony counts for trying to steal the 2020 election – “a joke.”
There aren’t many people who would consider the possibility of facing 80 years in prison (20 years for each count) “a joke,” but maybe Robinson just has a strange sense of humor.
Robinson was asked about the latest Trump indictment while in Edenton to talk to workers from Regulator Marine, Jimbo’s Jumbos and Colony Tire, The Elizabeth City Daily Advance reported. He told reporters that he had read the indictment but put no stock in it.
“That stuff is a big joke,” Robinson said. He then said that it’s “shameful” that the U.S. Department of Justice is being “weaponized” for political purposes.
The lieutenant governor isn’t alone in his beliefs, unfortunately. Many Republicans in North Carolina and the rest of the country also believe that the latest indictment, in addition to the 34-count indictment in New York for falsifying business records and a 40-count indictment in Florida for mishandling classified documents, is purely political.
Two of North Carolina’s most powerful politicians also believe the indictments are politically motivated, but they are also realistic enough to understand what it means electorally.
“I do think there’s politics involved with the indictments. As I look at it and see it, it strikes me that it’s got a political smell to it,” House Speaker Tim Moore told reporters, according to WRAL. “I mean obviously it’s not helpful, right, to have your strongest candidate under some sort of indictment.”
State Senate leader Phil Berger highlighted the conundrum of Trump’s popularity being tied to his indictments.
“Every time he gets indicted, it strengthens him within the party,” said Berger. “And, arguably, it makes it harder for him to actually win.”
It appears that Robinson is now basing his political career on the famous line said by Jason Bateman’s character in the movie “Dodgeball”: “It’s a bold strategy…let’s see if it pays off for him.“
While Trump is still extremely popular among the GOP base – and though it’s very early, appears to be cruising to the 2024 presidential nomination – he is deeply unpopular among the country as a whole.
According to FiveThirtyEight, as of Aug. 7, Trump is 17 points underwater in favorability – 56.4% unfavorable to 39.4% favorable. Robinson himself appears poised to crush his Republican primary opponents, but when Democrats, independents and everyone in-between gets to vote, does he really want to hitch his wagon to a guy who might be running for president from a prison cell?
It’s a bold strategy, indeed. Let’s see if it pays off for him.