Someone needs to teach Leslie Gibson how to apologize.
The GOP candidate, who is currently running unopposed in Maine’s 57th Congressional District, issued a mea culpa to the press after calling Parkland, Fla. shooting survivor Emma Gonzalez a “skinhead lesbian” on Twitter. Before shutting down his social media account, Gibson claimed he is thoroughly uninspired by the bisexual Latinx activistwho has been one of the faces of a national movement for gun control since the Feb. 14 shooting.
“There is nothing about this skinhead lesbian that impresses me and there is nothing that she has to say unless you’re a frothing at the mouth moonbat,” he said in a since-deleted post.
In the series of tweets, Gibson also claimed that Gonzalez didn’t count as a true survivor of the horrific tragedyin which 17 students were killedbecause she was in a “in a completely different part” of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School during the shooting. He argued the 17-year-old is “disingenuous.”
Gibson also referred to her classmate, David Hogg, as a “bald-faced liar” in response to a CNN interview in which the student called out NRA and its spokesperson, Dana Loesch, for their complicity in the United States’ gun violence epidemic.
“Dana Loesch ‘owns’ Congressmen?” he tweeted. “Completely absurd.”
After Gibson’s comments elicited national outrage, the prospective lawmaker apologizedor, well, kind of apologized. The conservative explained that as a military veteran, he has sworn to “uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
Gibson further waxed to the Lewiston Sun-Journal about how his love of America made him do it.
“Because of this, I am very passionate about protecting our constitutional rights from those who seek their elimination,” he told the Maine-based daily newspaper on Monday. “It was not appropriate to single out the Parkland students, but I stand firm in my defense of our constitutional rights.”
“My passion for defending our rights must be tempered with civility, and that did not happen in this instance,” Gibson continued.
Just as the Republican found himself less than impressed by Gonzalez’s activism, other lawmakers in the state were not amused by his response. Democratic organizer Pat Fogg told the Sun Journal, “That sort of stupidity really turns people off.”
Gonzalez has yet to respond to the attack, but the student appears to have already had the last word on the subject. In a Feb. 26 op-ed for Harper’s Bazaar in which she openly discusses her bisexuality, Gonzalez addresses the intense criticism lobbied her way by her many right-wing detractorswho have described the Parkland students as spoiled and lazy or suggested they are paid activists.
“There are people who do not know, and will never know, what it feels like to go through this,” she wrote. “For that I am eternally thankful.”
“But to the people out there who disagree with us: if you have ever felt what it’s like to deal with all of this, you would know we aren’t doing this for attention,” Gonzalez continued. “If these funerals were for your friends, you would know this grief is real, not paid for.
“We are children who are being expected to act like adults, while the adults are proving themselves to behave like children,” she added.
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