CNN host Anderson Cooper pressed Arizona state Sen. and gubernatorial candidate Al Melvin (R) on Monday over his support of his state’s law legalizing discrimination against the LGBT communities, especially after Melvin admitted he could not think of an instance where the “religious freedom” it supposedly protects was under attack.
“There has become a media frenzy on this that has cost other candidates for governor,” Melvin attempted to explain before a surprised Cooper interrupted.
“You’re seriously blaming the media on this?” Cooper asked. “Oh, come on.”
Melvin also objected to Cooper’s argument that, if SB 1062 is signed into law by current Gov. Jan Brewer (R), a business owner like a loan officer would be able to use religious beliefs as a reason to refuse services to unwed mothers or divorced women.
“I have never heard of that in my entire life,” Melvin protested. “It’s like you’re starting a cottage industry of perceived and made-up discrimination that don’t exist here.”
“Are you telling me that there’s nobody who opposes divorce?” Cooper asked.
“Everybody that I know wants strong marriages,” Melvin responded. “Strong, traditional marriages. They want them. And divorce is a sad thing. It usually hurts children. And we don’t want that. That’s why we want to strengthen traditional marriage.”
The senator also complained that institutions like marriage and the Boy Scouts were “under attack” — a common argument among anti-LGBT conservatives — but would not tell Cooper who he thought was responsible for that “attack.” Melvin also refused on multiple occasions to consider the possibility of workplace discrimination based on sexuality.
“You’re gonna be governor of gay and lesbian people, and you can’t even go on the record and say if a gay or lesbian person is fired simply for being gay or lesbian, that’s discrimination?” Cooper asked pointedly. “You can’t even make that leap and say, ‘Yeah, that would be discrimination.'”
“I don’t know of any case like you just cited, sir,” Melvin said.
Watch the interview, as posted online on Monday, below.
‘Rather than leading — he lies’: MSNBC panel says Trump is a ‘danger to the country’ because he can’t be trusted
MSNBC commentators, former assistant US Attorney Maya Wiley and Rick Wilson, explained that President Donald Trump's most significant barrier is making it past his own lies to save America from the coronavirus.
"There's a case tonight being tested in Walton County, Florida. The heart of Trump country," said Wilson, referring to the panhandle county east of Pensacola. "That's not going to be something you can just walk away from if it turns out to be a real case. We're seeing these things popping up all over. The safe bet was always to say, 'This could be bad. We'll do everything we can to stop it.' But he can't stop himself from self-aggrandizing and lying about things. And it's actually -- setting aside my normal criticism of Trump -- this is a danger to the country that he is not a trustworthy person for the American people. Even people who like him now he BS's them all the time. Now, if he says it's not a problem and people are being hospitalized, it is a problem."
Trump ‘just wants this problem to go away’: President desperate to get coronavirus ‘off his plate’
President Donald Trump is desperate for the coronavirus problem to go away, and he doesn't exactly care how it happens.
According to New York Times reporter Annie Karni, sources are telling her that the biggest concern Trump has is more about the markets than the deaths of Americans from the virus.
"First, let's establish, this is a president who tried to change science with a Sharpie when it came to hurricane path prediction," said MSNBC host Brian Williams. "That picture lasts forever."
"Even his allies on Fox and his allies outside the White House were kind of channeling to that proverbial audience of one that this was a great opportunity to look presidential and to tell the facts," said Karni. The Donald Trump we saw out there in the briefing room was very casual, kind of left the facts to the other people that accompanied him out there. But he clearly publicly and privately just wants this problem to go away. He wants to downplay it. He thinks -- he has called people who are talking about fears about it alarmist. He doesn't want to be alarmist, and he's kind of holding on to any comment that makes it sound like this will naturally be a problem that is removed from his plate. That's what we saw publicly, and that's what he's been saying privately as well."
Seth Meyers: You know Trump isn’t the chief law enforcement officer because he couldn’t pass the physical
"Late Night" host Seth Meyers warned that the United States is sliding into authoritarianism under President Donald Trump.
Sounding the alarm Wednesday evening, Meyers cited reports that Trump was making lists of disloyal people, purging them from their jobs, hiring unqualified cronies in top posts, and claiming he has the right to interfere in criminal cases.
While speaking to the press last week, Trump even announced that he's allowed to be involved in all criminal cases because he's the chief law enforcement officer of the United States. It's actually a title used for the attorney general.