WRAL labeled a "mystery," cause Robinson wouldn't say what it was all about -- for the following day in the NC Senate chambers (where Robinson is privileged to preside as lieutenant governor but rarely does). The special event turned out to be Robinson's stumbling over prepared remarks proclaiming "North Carolina Solidarity with Israel Week" and wordage someone else wrote for him about how North Carolina stands strongly behind the Jewish people. (Who would dare deny that Mark Robinson is a classic opportunist?) He also condemned "anti-semitism," repeating the term several times (and having trouble pronouncing it repeatedly). But that part of the special event worked against him because it sparked almost all of the questions at the subsequent press conference, questions about his past statements that have struck many as anti-semitic. (Was it just an unfortunate tic or a "tell" that he stumbled over "anti-semitism" every time he said it?) (WRAL features a 10-minute video of the entire event, including the unfortunate-for-Robinson press conference.)Robinson said,
“But I think what we’re seeing here now is the state of North Carolina including me as one of its top leaders, we are dedicated to stamping out antisemitism wherever we find it. And we are definitely dedicated to standing with the nation of Israel as they deal with real antisemitism that has turned into murderous violence. And so our position is clear. There is no antisemitism standing here in front of you, and I can definitely say in the state of North Carolina, the majority of North Carolinians feel the same.”
I'll boil them cabbage down: Asked directly if he would now apologize for the statements he's made about Jews, particularly some Facebook posts that he now disavows (or sez he does), Robinson said, "I apologize for the wording, not the content."
Hmmmm. So instead of calling the producer of the movie "Black Panther" -- Robinson hated it -- "an agnostic Jew," the wording should have been "an agnostic" and the whole vibe is fixed, right? No one will ever be the wiser.
I could not, in good conscience, accept your invitation as a member of the Council of State to stand with you at your press conference this morning.
You have regrettably seized the opportunity to engage in a stunt with dubious authority as acting governor during a brief interlude while Gov. Cooper is overseas conducting state business. How can you pretend to be governor when the record is clear that you haven’t done your job as lieutenant governor? As a person who has shamefully denied the Holocaust and whose history is checkered with hateful anti-Semitic comments you have no right to be commenting on this topic.... (emphasis added)
Whoa. That attack seems particularly well aimed.