John Oliver Tears Apart GOP’s Most Unhinged 2024 Candidate


John Oliver slammed North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson on Sunday night, outing the 55-year-old–who won the GOP nomination Tuesday for the state’s upcoming gubernatorial election–as a prime example of how Republicans have radicalized over social media.

“It was just a matter of time before online trolls crossed over from ranting about policy to writing it,” Oliver said on Last Week Tonight.

Oliver pointed out that Donald Trump boosted Robinson’s political ambitions by calling him “Martin Luther King on steroids” at a rally earlier this month. The former president also described him as “Martin Luther King times two” and decided that Robinson “should like” the comparison. “Do you know how racist you have to be to give a Black person a compliment that starts by quantifying their human value, and then ends with a demand?” Oliver said Sunday in response. “It’s a lot.”

Oliver had nothing complimentary to offer about Robinson, noting that his “own feelings on MLK are at best, complicated,” after the politician expressed skepticism about the aims of the civil rights movement.

“That’s genuinely shocking. Not so much that someone is making controversial, inaccurate claims about the civil rights movement on a podcast, but that it’s happening without Joe Rogan occasionally popping in to say ‘That’s wild, bro’ before pivoting to an ad for a protein supplement that promises to make your dick veinier,” Oliver said.

Robinson’s position that the sit-in protests at a Greensboro lunch counter in 1960 were counterproductive to free-market capitalism “is not just the argument of an asshole, but an asshole on steroids,” Oliver said. “An asshole times two.”

Oliver also criticized Robinson for supporting book bans and his outspoken opposition to gay rights, as seen in a 2021 speech at the Upper Room Church of God in Christ in Raleigh, where Robinson claimed that schools shouldn’t recognize gay rights because there “ain’t but two genders.” He added: “Two plus two don’t equal transgender. It equals four.”

Oliver countered: “It’s actually a great discursive tactic. Finish an incomprehensibly offensive rant with one incontrovertible fact.”

On other issues, Robinson has supported an abortion ban at six weeks, and told at least one audience that our culture tells women to have sex and get an abortion to get out of trouble. “It’s all right to murder someone to get out of it,” he said in 2021. “Once you make a baby, it’s not your body anymore. It’s y’all’s body.”

To which Oliver replied: “I will say, if the women of this country do think it’s all right to murder someone to get out of trouble, they are currently showing incredible restraint.”

Restraint that Robinson apparently lacks, Oliver learned, after digging into Robinson’s 2022 memoir, We Are The Majority!.

Oliver discovered that the current lieutenant governor joined Facebook in 2007 solely intending to write about pro wrestling, only to find that, much like pro wrestling, people feed off of outrage and fake drama. As Robinson wrote: “I wanted people to read my page and go, ‘What did he say? Did he really say that?’ And that’s what happened.”

Cut to last year, where Raleigh TV station WRAL uncovered Robinson’s Facebook statements about Jewish people, which he subsequently walked back by calling them “poorly worded.”

“Poorly worded is something like, ‘You have been broken up with by me,’” Oliver replied.

“I think the main issue there was his flagrant antisemitism being worded at all. This guy clearly isn’t Martin Luther King on steroids. If anything, he’s much more like your shittiest uncle on Ambien.”

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