RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson (R) reiterated at a rally in Raleigh Friday he will not resign from office amid calls by Democrats for him to step down over comments he made about the LGBTQ community.
Robinson also said this week he’s “95 percent sure” he’ll run for governor in 2024.
“I’m gonna resign. I’m gonna resign myself to continue to keep kicking them in the teeth,” he told a crowd on Halifax Mall.
A video surfaced on social media earlier this month where Robinson was seen speaking at a church and referred to homosexuality and being transgender as “filth.”
Robinson said his comments were in regard to books found in public schools that include explicit content. Additional videos showed Robinson making other disparaging comments about LGBTQ people, including one where he referred to the transgender rights movement as being “full of the spirit of Antichrist.”
“We had no idea that the news media would take 20 seconds of that speech and try to expose Mark Robinson as some kind of homophobe or some kind of bigot,” he said. “And, I told them exactly what I meant. And, I don’t understand why they don’t understand what I meant.”
Friday’s rally was organized by Return America, a Christian group led by North Carolina pastors whose purpose “is to build a network of churches and individuals to educate, motivate and mobilize citizens in a united effort in promoting Judeo-Christian values; to educate and influence government in these principles upon which our state and nation were founded.”
Democrats, including the leading candidates in next year’s Senate race, called on Robinson to resign after the first video surfaced. On the Republican side, former U.S. Rep. Mark Walker came to Robinson’s defense and also appeared at Friday’s rally.
Robinson hasn’t said when he’ll formally announce a campaign for governor, but he would follow a long line of former lieutenant governors who have sought to move to the Executive Mansion.
Gov. Roy Cooper said earlier this month he thought Robinson should step down but acknowledged that won’t happen.
“He does not speak for North Carolina. We are a welcoming and inclusive state,” Cooper said.
People at Friday’s rally were enthusiastic about the potential for Robinson to run for governor.
Demetria Carter, of High Point, dismissed the notion that he should step down. “I think that’s just opportunists trying to get him out of politics because I believe he’s going to be the next Governor of North Carolina,” she said.
Marcus Karachun, of Pitt County, said, “Any time you’ve got somebody that doesn’t like you, wants to beat you down, wants you to drop out, that means you’re doing something right.”
Robinson didn’t indicate when he’ll make a formal announcement about his plans for 2024.
“Tell our enemies on the other side of the aisle that would drag this nation down into a socialist hellhole that you will only do it as you run past me laying down on the ground choking on my own blood,” he said.