Robinson counters critics, teases run for governor | The Enterprise
The Enterprise
Login
SearchHelpSubscriptions

Robinson counters critics, teases run for governor

Posted on October 24, 2021

Updated on October 25, 2021

Local newsTop news
District Court Judge Beth Freshwater-Smith, a Republican candidate for the N.C. Court of Appeals, delivers brief remarks at Saturday's Wilson County GOP oyster roast.

Corey Friedman | Times

District Court Judge Beth Freshwater-Smith, a Republican candidate for the N.C. Court of Appeals, delivers brief remarks at Saturday's Wilson County GOP oyster roast.

Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson answers critics who called for his resignation over a past speech in which he called homosexuality and transgenderism “filth.” Robinson said he was referring to young adult books on sexuality and gender that contain explicit illustrations and said his words were taken out of context.

Corey Friedman | Times

Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson answers critics who called for his resignation over a past speech in which he called homosexuality and transgenderism “filth.” Robinson said he was referring to young adult books on sexuality and gender that contain explicit illustrations and said his words were taken out of context.

N.C. Republican Party Chairman Michael Whatley energizes the crowd during Saturday's Wilson County GOP oyster roast fundraiser at Scott Farms.

Corey Friedman | Times

N.C. Republican Party Chairman Michael Whatley energizes the crowd during Saturday's Wilson County GOP oyster roast fundraiser at Scott Farms.

Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson addresses more than 300 guests attending the Wilson County Republican Party's oyster roast fundraiser Saturday night at Scott Farms near Lucama.

Corey Friedman | Times

Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson addresses more than 300 guests attending the Wilson County Republican Party's oyster roast fundraiser Saturday night at Scott Farms near Lucama.

Rep. Madison Cawthorn speaks at the Wilson County Republican Party's annual oyster roast fundraiser on Saturday. Cawthorn represents North Carolina's 11th Congressional District, which encompasses the state's western corner.

Corey Friedman | Times

Rep. Madison Cawthorn speaks at the Wilson County Republican Party's annual oyster roast fundraiser on Saturday. Cawthorn represents North Carolina's 11th Congressional District, which encompasses the state's western corner.

Wilson County GOP Chairwoman Christy Fyle addresses the party faithful during Saturday's oyster roast fundraiser and rally at Scott Farms outside Lucama.

Corey Friedman | Times

Wilson County GOP Chairwoman Christy Fyle addresses the party faithful during Saturday's oyster roast fundraiser and rally at Scott Farms outside Lucama.

Ken Fontenot, left, listens to U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn over plates of food from Parker's Barbecue and oysters from Keyser's Seafood during Saturday's Wilson County GOP oyster roast.

Corey Friedman | Times

Ken Fontenot, left, listens to U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn over plates of food from Parker's Barbecue and oysters from Keyser's Seafood during Saturday's Wilson County GOP oyster roast.

Attendees who volunteered for the Republican Party during the 2020 general election raise their hands in response to state party Chairman Michael Whatley's call for recognition during the Wilson County GOP oyster roast on Saturday.

Corey Friedman | Times

Attendees who volunteered for the Republican Party during the 2020 general election raise their hands in response to state party Chairman Michael Whatley's call for recognition during the Wilson County GOP oyster roast on Saturday.

District Court Judge Beth Freshwater-Smith, a Republican candidate for the N.C. Court of Appeals, delivers brief remarks at Saturday's Wilson County GOP oyster roast.

Corey Friedman | Times

District Court Judge Beth Freshwater-Smith, a Republican candidate for the N.C. Court of Appeals, delivers brief remarks at Saturday's Wilson County GOP oyster roast.

Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson answers critics who called for his resignation over a past speech in which he called homosexuality and transgenderism “filth.” Robinson said he was referring to young adult books on sexuality and gender that contain explicit illustrations and said his words were taken out of context.

Corey Friedman | Times

Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson answers critics who called for his resignation over a past speech in which he called homosexuality and transgenderism “filth.” Robinson said he was referring to young adult books on sexuality and gender that contain explicit illustrations and said his words were taken out of context.

Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson answers critics who called for his resignation over a past speech in which he called homosexuality and transgenderism “filth.” Robinson said he was referring to young adult books on sexuality and gender that contain explicit illustrations and said his words were taken out of context.
N.C. Republican Party Chairman Michael Whatley energizes the crowd during Saturday's Wilson County GOP oyster roast fundraiser at Scott Farms.
Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson addresses more than 300 guests attending the Wilson County Republican Party's oyster roast fundraiser Saturday night at Scott Farms near Lucama.
Rep. Madison Cawthorn speaks at the Wilson County Republican Party's annual oyster roast fundraiser on Saturday. Cawthorn represents North Carolina's 11th Congressional District, which encompasses the state's western corner.
Wilson County GOP Chairwoman Christy Fyle addresses the party faithful during Saturday's oyster roast fundraiser and rally at Scott Farms outside Lucama.
Ken Fontenot, left, listens to U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn over plates of food from Parker's Barbecue and oysters from Keyser's Seafood during Saturday's Wilson County GOP oyster roast.
Attendees who volunteered for the Republican Party during the 2020 general election raise their hands in response to state party Chairman Michael Whatley's call for recognition during the Wilson County GOP oyster roast on Saturday.
District Court Judge Beth Freshwater-Smith, a Republican candidate for the N.C. Court of Appeals, delivers brief remarks at Saturday's Wilson County GOP oyster roast.

cfriedman@wilsontimes.com | 252-265-7813

LUCAMA — In a searing sendup of his critics, Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson rejected calls for his resignation over an LGBT controversy and teased a likely 2024 gubernatorial run.

Robinson accused media outlets of twisting his words and blasted President Joe Biden, Gov. Roy Cooper and N.C. Attorney General Josh Stein for condemning him in public statements. The state’s highest-ranking Republican elected official garnered three standing ovations during Saturday’s Wilson County GOP oyster roast fundraiser at Scott Farms.

“I told them yes, I’m going to resign — I’m going to resign myself to continue to kick the news media in the teeth and continue to kick the liberals in the hind end, because they need it,” Robinson said. “The days of the old pipe-smoking, jelly-backed conservative who leans over, bends over backward and does everything they can to capitulate their principles and their values is over.”

The controversy began Oct. 6 when Right Wing Watch, a subsidiary of liberal advocacy group People for the American Way, released a video of Robinson’s June speech to a Randolph County church. In the recording, Robinson says no one should teach children about “transgenderism, homosexuality, any of that filth.”

Opponents said the remarks demeaned LGBT people, but Robinson said he used the word “filth” to describe the contents of three books on gender and sexuality available in some North Carolina public schools, including a comic book-style memoir that contains sexually explicit illustrations. 

“Not ever as lieutenant governor have I ever championed any legislation that would violate someone’s constitutional rights, and I never will,” Robinson said. “But I am not going to sit silent while you put pornography in schools and present it to children.”

Contrasting himself with Cooper and Stein, Robinson said the governor and attorney general have failed to uphold state residents’ rights. He cited Cooper’s executive order limiting in-person church attendance during the COVID-19 pandemic last year, noting that a federal judge struck down the capacity limits imposed on houses of worship as a First Amendment violation.

Stein, he said, was eager to prosecute North Carolinians accused of participating in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot but did nothing to address looting and vandalism that occurred during Black Lives Matter protests.

“I will fight for the constitutional rights of every North Carolina citizen. I don’t care whether you’re gay, straight. I don’t care whether you’re a Christian, whether you’re a Muslim. It does not matter to me,” Robinson said. “Your constitutional rights are at my forefront, and I will protect the constitutional rights of every North Carolina citizen.”

A White House statement denouncing Robinson’s June remarks provided fodder for a broadside against the Biden administration.

“They said that my comments were egregious and that I should resign,” Robinson explained. “You know, my response to that is this: you failed at the border, you failed in Afghanistan, you failed with the pipeline. You’re failing on the economy. Please do not add supporting child pornography to a long list of failures that you are currently having in the White House.”

The oyster roast serves as the Wilson County Republican Party’s annual fall fundraiser and an opportunity to rally conservative voters and volunteers. Robinson called on guests to flip three N.C. House seats and two state Senate seats from blue to red in 2022, giving the GOP legislative supermajorities that could override Cooper’s vetoes.

Looking ahead to 2024, Robinson hinted at his ambitions to replace Cooper, who is limited to serving two consecutive terms.

“I believe I know somebody who might decide to run for governor,” he said to spontaneous applause, “who will be a God-fearing constitutional conservative.”

Rep. Madison Cawthorn, a Republican who represents the state’s 11th Congressional District, defended Robinson and rallied the GOP base to defeat Democrats, who he says have drifted leftward.

“Where I come from in the mountains, there’s a lot of JFK Democrats who are there who say, ‘Oh, I could never register as a Republican. My grandpappy would roll over in his grave.’ That is not the Democratic Party we are dealing with today," Cawthorn said. "The Democratic Party we are dealing with today, they are full-blown socialists and, my friends, there is no middle ground with them.”

Cawthorn, an opponent of school mask mandates who joined a parents’ protest in Johnston County last month, said he wants to eliminate the U.S. Department of Education and return decision-making power to states and local school boards.

“The bureaucrats I serve with in Washington, D.C., they have no idea what’s going on at Beddingfield High,” he said. “They have no idea what’s going on in your child’s life. They are trying to make cookie-cutter decisions to blanket an entire country in what they believe the right idea is. But, my friends, the rearing of our children is so much more important than that.”

If Republicans retake House and Senate majorities in the 2022 midterm elections, Cawthorn said legislative leaders should “direct the Department of Justice to prosecute Anthony Fauci for lying to Congress.”

Fauci, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director who has worked to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic in the Trump and Biden administrations, feuded with Sen. Rand Paul in a July hearing when Paul pressed him on whether the National Institutes of Health funded gain-of-function research at a laboratory in Wuhan, China, the city with the first coronavirus outbreak.

“I think the slogan for this next election cycle is that we, the people, are pissed off,” Cawthorn said. “We are tired of these bureaucrats and these career politicians acting like they are some kind of ruling elite royal class. But my belief is that all of us in this room, we are the royalty in this country. Your house is your castle. You make the decisions for what happens.”

N.C. Republican Party Chairman Michael Whatley introduced Robinson and Cawthorn and cheered the GOP’s grassroots volunteers for serving as local elections officials and helping with candidate telemarketing and door-to-door canvassing.

With congressional and legislative district lines still uncertain, the only 2022 hopefuls to speak during Saturday’s oyster roast were five statewide judicial candidates: Trey Allen, Richard Dietz and April Wood, running for the N.C. Supreme Court, and Donna Stroud and Beth Freshwater-Smith, running for N.C. Court of Appeals seats.

More Local news

A Rougemont woman is charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle in this Nov. 7 crash, which claimed a Nashville man's life.

Woman charged in wreck that killed Nash man

By Drew C. Wilson
| December 6, 2021

WILSON — A woman faces a misdemeanor death by motor vehicle charge in connection with a wreck that c...

Evans

Evans files for reelection

By Lindell J. Kay
| December 6, 2021

NASHVILLE — District Attorney Robert Evans has filed for reelection. "It has been my honor and priv...

Anyone with information about the man whose bones were found scattered in a roadside ditch in December 1979 is asked to call the Clinton Police Department at 910-592-3105.

UNIDENTIFIED

Clinton bones have no name

By Lindell J. Kay
| December 6, 2021

CLINTON — Authorities have never put a name to human remains discovered 42 years ago, bones scattere...


Local News

Powered by Nash & Pine | v4.2.1