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.
‘The world is on fire!’ Fox News pundit stunned after Trump decides to host G7 at his golf club
Fox News politics editor Chris Stirewalt was stunned by the White House decision to host next year's G7 summit at a property owned by President Donald Trump.
White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney announced the international gathering would be held at Trump's struggling Doral golf course in Florida, and even the conservative Stirewalt couldn't believe the decision.
"The idea that this administration, dealing with what this administration is dealing with, right? A lot -- the unraveling in Syria, you’ve got the march to impeachment here at home, breaking news story every day. The world is on fire. Why?"
‘This has become the catch-us-if-you-can administration’ after Mulvaney blows off corruption: CNN’s Jim Acosta
On Thursday, White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney dismissed concerns that the Trump administration had pressured the government of Ukraine to dig up information on political rivals.
"We do that all the time. Get over it," Mulvaney told reporters. "Politics is going to be involved in foreign policy--elections do have consequences."
CNN's Jim Acosta observed Thursday afternoon that corruption has just become the norm for Trump and his aides.
"I think that's probably a pretty remarkable admission coming from the acting Chief of Staff," Acosta said.
"You could almost read between the lines here where the acting Chief of Staff was almost saying to everybody in the room here, 'Catch us if you can.'"
WATCH: Trump’s chief of staff pummeled in rancorous press briefing after announcing G7 decision
President Donald Trump's chief of staff and Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney was pummeled by reporters demanding answers about the president scoring huge sums of taxpayer dollars by having a G7 summit at his Miami resort.
Mulvaney held a press conference on Thursday where he announced that the G7 meeting would be at Trump National Doral Miami in 2020. Reporters responded with many questions about self-dealing and the president's profits off of the event.