Florida Republican wants Kyle Rittenhouse in Congress — will the Florida GOP bench him?
Kyle Rittenhouse

Republican legislator Antony Sabatini made headlines Tuesday for recommending that 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse join Congress - even though he's been accused of killing two protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin.


"Anthony Sabatini has always been desperate for attention. So earlier this month, the 32-year-old Republican legislator from Lake County called for the imprisonment of Joe Biden," Scott Maxwell, columnist for Orlando Sentinel, wrote. "The tweet earned him 596 'likes' — not as many as when Sabatini called Biden a 'POS' (piece of sh**) — and was quickly forgotten. So this past weekend, Sabatini upped the ante — lauding the 17-year-old accused of killing two protesters in Wisconsin."

Maxwell wrote, "This column isn’t an attempt to shame Sabatini. I’d have better luck trying to get a cocker spaniel to understand quantum physics. Nor is it a call to throw Sabatini out of office. This is a democracy. And the voters of Lake County seem to enjoy Sabatini’s aggressive tweets and vocal ignorance. (Rittenhouse isn’t even old enough to legally serve in Congress.)"

Bernice King, daughter of Martin Luther and Coretta Scott King, called Sabatini’s tweet “irresponsible” and “inhumane.”

Maxwell added, "Sabatini’s divisive, facts-be-damned bomb-throwing apparently reflects the values of Lake County voters. The question is whether they also reflect the values of the Florida Republican party ... New House Speaker Chris Sprowls has started handing out committee assignments in the Florida House. If Sprowls wants to make it clear that Sabatini’s incendiary stunts don’t reflect the speaker’s own values, he’ll sideline Sabatini — and not let him anywhere near the crafting of public policy in this state. We’ll see if Sprowls is interested in pursuing a serious policy agenda or in playing footsies with extremists."

Regardless of whether Sprowls benches Sabatini or lets his poor behavior slide, the reality is that "teenagers can’t serve in Congress … even if they aren’t facing murder charges," Maxwell offered.