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HuffPost Truncates a Quote by North Carolina Lt. Gov Mark Robinson
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HuffPost Truncates a Quote by North Carolina Lt. Gov Mark Robinson

The GOP nominee for governor did not say he believes women shouldn’t vote.

Mark Robinson addresses supporters during a campaign event in Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina, on February 17, 2024. (Photo by Madeline Gray/ Washington Post/ Getty Images)

North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson won the GOP nomination for the state’s upcoming gubernatorial race on Tuesday. The next day, HuffPost published an article highlighting comments he made in 2020 at an event hosted by a Republican women’s group. In a video clip featured in the article, Robinson says, “I absolutely want to go back to the America where women couldn’t vote.” 

The quote has spread rapidly online since its publication, including in a clip reposted by North Carolina’s Democratic Party.

While Robinson—who has a history of making controversial statements—did, in fact, make these remarks, the isolated quote has been taken out of context. Here’s what he said, in full:

“This idiotic guy was on stage with Candace Owens a few days ago and asked her, ‘What America are we going back to to make America great again? The one where women couldn’t vote? Or where black people were swinging from trees?’ I would say to him if I was standing in front of him, I absolutely want to go back to the America where women couldn’t vote. Do you know why? Because in those days, we had people who fought for real social change, and they were called Republicans, and they are the reason why women can vote today. Those days that he talked about when black folks were swinging from trees, guess who it was out there fighting to bring that to an end, to bring Jim Crow to an end? It was Republicans. So that’s the America we want to bring back. We want to bring back the America where Republicans and principles and true ideas of freedom rule. That’s the America we want to bring back.”

Viewed in the context of his broader remarks, Robinson is not arguing that women should no longer be allowed to vote, but instead that the Republican Party should return to the days when it led the fight for social change. “That’s why I’m a Republican,” Robinson added. “I’m a Republican because of the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments to the Constitution and the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. I’m a Republican because whenever you look at true, honest to God, social change for the better, at the top leading the charge is a Republican.” HuffPost included a longer version of the video further down in its article.

Robinson has, however, frequently made other controversial statements—and been accused of antisemitism on multiple occasions. In a 2018 Facebook post, for example, Robinson said that the Marvel film Black Panther was “only created to pull the shekels out of your Schvartze pockets,” and in 2017 he wrote that “homosexuality and irresponsibility” and “Lesbianism and feminism” were being used by Satan to destroy the family.

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Alex Demas is a fact checker at The Dispatch and is based in Washington, D.C. Prior to joining the company in 2023, he worked in England as a financial journalist and earned his MA in Political Economy at King's College London. When not heroically combating misinformation online, Alex can be found mixing cocktails, watching his beloved soccer team Aston Villa lose a match, or attempting to pet stray cats.