Earlier this year, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper acknowledged that he'd considered launching a 2022 U.S. Senate campaign. The Democratic governor even said he was confident he could win.
But Cooper ultimately rejected the idea, explaining that if he won, Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson would become governor, and Cooper simply couldn't in good conscience impose Robinson on North Carolinians.
To understand why the governor felt that way, consider this NBC News report from late last week:
Multiple North Carolina state representatives are demanding that Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, a Republican, resign after a video surfaced showing him describing the LGBTQ community as "filth." The video, first shared by Right Wing Watch, a project of the progressive advocacy group People For the American Way, shows Robinson speaking at the Asbury Baptist Church in Seagrove during a visit in June, local NBC affiliate WRAL reported.
"I'm saying this now, and I've been saying it, and I don't care who likes it: Those issues have no place in a school. There's no reason anybody anywhere in America should be telling any child about transgenderism, homosexuality — any of that filth," he said.
The Republican went on to say in the same remarks, "And yes, I called it 'filth.' And if you don't like it that I called it 'filth,' come see me and I'll explain it to you. It's time for us to stop letting these children be abused in schools, and it's not going to happen till the people of God stand up and demand different, same ones that established those schools to begin with."
Not surprisingly, many Democratic legislators have called for Robinson to resign. Also not surprisingly, the lieutenant governor is ignoring those calls. The Republican told the NBC affiliate in Raleigh on Friday, "We will not be intimidated. We will not back down. We will not change our language."
The controversy has not gone unnoticed in the nation's capital. White House Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates called Robinson's words "repugnant and offensive," adding in a written statement, "The role of a leader is to bring people together and stand up for the dignity and rights of everyone, not to spread hate and undermine their own office."
What's more, it's worth emphasizing for context that this story is only part of a larger library of offensive nonsense from Robinson. Perusing Right Wing Watch's archive, I found this striking report from last month in which North Carolina's lieutenant governor declared that the United States is a "Christian nation" — he invited those who disagree to leave the country — and added that officials could eliminate school shootings by having public schools teach that Jesus is the only way to salvation.
Robinson has also argued that firearms are a divine gift to humanity.
"God gave the garden slug a way to defend itself," he argued. "Now, if God gave the garden slug a way to defend themselves, what makes you think he didn't give man, who he created in his own image, a way to defend himself? Those AR-15s and Glock 9mms and .45 calibers; where do you think they came from? Who do you think inspired them? God knew the world he was putting us into, so he formed in our mind the ability for us to be able to defend ourselves from anybody who may threaten us."
And that's just the recent stuff. Robinson's record of anti-Semitism is also well documented.
The North Carolina Republican is currently in his first year, following a highly controversial 2020 campaign.