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Lt. Gov. Robinson responds to criticism from his comments on women's ability to lead

North Carolina Lt. Gov-elect Mark Robinson is shown at his home in Colfax, N.C., Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020. Robinson will serve as North Carolina's first Black lieutenant governor.
Gerry Broome
North Carolina Lt. Gov-elect Mark Robinson is shown at his home in Colfax, N.C., Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020.

Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson says his recent comments that Christians should be “led by men” had nothing to do with women's ability to lead.

On Tuesday, he fired back at those who criticized him for those comments. In a video statement, Robinson said he was encouraging men to stand up and take the lead in their homes and communities.

He said it's ridiculous to insinuate that women can't be leaders, and said that his mother is the “greatest hero and leader” of his life.

“For someone to insinuate that I don't believe women could be leaders in their homes, in their communities, in their churches, in their state, in their nation – is absolutely 100% ridiculous,” Robinson said in a video posted to Twitter titled “Response To Latest Attacks.”

Earlier this week, remarks Robinson made on May 22 surfaced. His comments were made while speaking at the Freedom House, a multi-campus church in Charlotte, and first reported by WRAL.

"God sent women out when they had to do their thing, but when it was time to face Goliath, (he) sent David. Not Davita, David,” Robinson told the church, drawing laughter and applause.

He later added that, in the Bible, God called on Moses to lead the Israelites.

“Not Momma Moses,” Robinson said. “Daddy Moses.”

Robinson issued a response to criticism of those comments on social media Tuesday.

“Reporters can follow me around and write down every word that I speak at churches and misrepresent those words all they like," he says in the video posted to Twitter. "But here’s the thing, they should be focused on the substantive issues that are facing Americans and North Carolinians right now." He pointed to gas prices, the lack of baby formula and the war in Ukraine as some of those issues.

Other comments made by Robinson during his speech to the church congregation included him urging men to “take the head of your enemy in God’s name.”

In response to Robinson's remarks, North Carolina's Democratic Party said in a tweet on Tuesday, "When someone shows you who they are, believe them. Well, North Carolina, we watched Lt. Gov. Robinson's appalling sermon, and we have to say, he didn't mince words. Does the rest of the @NCGOP agree with him?"

Robinson has drawn criticism for past comments that were considered homophobic, misogynist, and anti-Semitic.

He is widely expected to seek the Republican nomination for Governor in 2024, and his speech at the Freedom House was part of his tour of North Carolina churches. He also used this latest church visit to tout the upcoming release of his autobiography, “We are the Majority: The Life and Passions of a Patriot.”

Robinson was elected Lt. Gov. in 2020, the first Black person to be elected to that position in the state of North Carolina. He first drew fame and began building his political platform after a video of him speaking in favor of gun rights at a Greensboro City Council meeting following the attacks at Stoneman Douglas High School went viral. Robinson has since spoken at NRA conventions and rallies for former President Donald Trump.

Bradley George is WUNC's AM reporter. A North Carolina native, his public radio career has taken him to Atlanta, Birmingham, Nashville and most recently WUSF in Tampa. While there, he reported on the COVID-19 pandemic and was part of the station's Murrow award winning coverage of the 2020 election. Along the way, he has reported for NPR, Marketplace, The Takeaway, and the BBC World Service. Bradley is a graduate of Guilford College, where he majored in Theatre and German.
Mitchell Northam is a Digital Producer for WUNC. His past work has been featured at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, SB Nation, the Orlando Sentinel and the Associated Press. He is a graduate of Salisbury University and is also a voter in the AP Top 25 poll for women's college basketball.
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