GREENSBORO, North Carolina~Former President Donald Trump endorsed Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson for governor on Saturday night in North Carolina, a move that many delegates expect will bolster Robinson’s lead in a primary tough from the GOP and catapults him into the governor’s office. Trump backed the sharp-voiced Robinson at the state’s GOP convention in Greensboro, one of his first public appearances since being indicted last week, the first criminal case against a former president. .
Trump assured Robinson, “You can count on it, Mark.” He called Robinson “one of the great stars of the party, one of the great stars of politics”. The former president faces 37 charges for improperly keeping nuclear capability documents in his Florida home, asking staffers to help him hide data required by investigators and posting a Pentagon “attack plan” and a classified map. The former president and 2024 GOP frontrunner was greeted with a loud ovation by many North Carolina delegates, who dismissed the indictment as a bad faith effort by President Joe Biden’s administration to undermine his biggest challenger.
Republican voters expect Trump’s “travesty of justice” accusation to benefit his and Robinson’s presidential campaign. “He’s not pulling any punches,” said 52-year-old Greensboro GOP delegate Mia Brydie. “I admire him because he represents the people.” Robinson became the first black lieutenant governor in 2020. He would repeat history if elected governor. Brydie, a black woman, thinks Robinson best represents black and working-class families. Last year, Robinson released an autobiography detailing his poverty-stricken childhood and subsequent financial struggles. However, some party members have questioned whether Robinson’s long history of harsh comments — whom some women, Jews and LGBTQ+ people have called misogynistic, anti-Semitic and homophobic — could hurt the party’s chances of winning back the governorship in a tightly divided state.
Saturday’s emails and calls to Robinson’s campaign went unanswered. Despite dominating both houses of the state legislature, Republicans have won the governorship only once since 1992, in 2012. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper, who has served since 2017, cannot run again in 2024. State Attorney General Josh Stein is the only notable Democrat. run to succeed Cooper. Robinson’s campaign spokeswoman Kate Frauenfelder expects Trump’s endorsement to “spark even more chaos in the already messy Republican primary.” intended to seek or obtain the former president’s endorsement.