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MAGA Gov Candidate’s Ugly, Hateful Rant: “Some Folks Need Killing!”

Mark Robinson, the GOP nominee for governor in North Carolina, has a long history of incendiary comments. But he may have topped himself this time.

Mark Robinson speaks with finger raised in the air
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images
North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson speaks at the Faith and Freedom Road to Majority conference in Washington, D.C., on June 21.

Mark Robinson, the extremist GOP nominee for governor in North Carolina, appeared to endorse political violence in a bizarre and extended rant he delivered on June 30 in a small-town church.

“Some folks need killing!” Robinson, the state’s lieutenant governor, shouted during a roughly half-hour-long speech in Lake Church in the tiny town of White Lake, in the southeast corner of the state. “It’s time for somebody to say it. It’s not a matter of vengeance. It’s not a matter of being mean or spiteful. It’s a matter of necessity!”

Robinson’s call for the “killing” of “some folks” came during an extended diatribe in which he attacked an extraordinary assortment of enemies. These ranged from “people who have evil intent” to “wicked people” to those doing things like “torturing and murdering and raping” to socialists and Communists. He also invoked those supposedly undermining America’s founding ideals and leftists allegedly persecuting conservatives by canceling them and doxxing them online.

In all this, Robinson appeared to endorse lethal violence against these unnamed enemies, particularly on the left, though he wasn’t exactly clear on which “folks” are the ones who “need killing.”

Robinson, a self-described “MAGA Republican,” has a long history of wildly radical and unhinged moments. He has linked homosexuality to pedophilia, called for the arrest of trans women, pushed hallucinogenic antisemitic conspiracy theories, endorsed the vile “birther” conspiracy about Barack Obama, described Michelle Obama as a man, hinted at the need to violently oppose federal law enforcement and the government, and posted memes mocking and denying the brutal, violent assault on Nancy Pelosi’s husband, among many other things.

His latest rant is yet another example of an ugly game widely played on the MAGA right, one supercharged by Donald Trump. It entails hinting that right-wing political violence is necessary and justified because a ubiquitous, all-seeing, all-powerful leftist threat—one that is pure invention—is already supposedly attacking and persecuting conservatives on a mass scale.

Here’s what Robinson said (bold mine):

We now find ourselves struggling with people who have evil intent. You know, there’s a time when we used to meet evil on the battlefield, and guess what we did to it? We killed it! … When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, what did we do? We flew to Japan! And we killed the Japanese Army and Navy! … We didn’t argue and capitulate and talk about, well, maybe we shouldn’t fight the Nazis that hard. No, they’re bad. Kill them. Some liberal somewhere is going to say that sounds awful. Too bad. Get mad at me if you want to.

Some folks need killing! It’s time for somebody to say it. It’s not a matter of vengeance. It’s not a matter of being mean or spiteful. It’s a matter of necessity! When you have wicked people doing wicked things, torturing and murdering and raping. It’s time to call out, uh, those guys in green and go have them handled. Or those boys in blue and have them go handle it.…

We need to start handling our business again.Don’t you feel it slipping away? … The further we start sliding into making 1776 a distant memory and the tenets of socialism and communism start coming into clearer focus. They’re watching us. They’re listening to us. They’re tracking us. They get mad at you. They cancel you. They dox you. They kick you off social media. They come in and close down your business. Folks, it’s happening … because we have forgotten who we are.

Robinson might try to argue that he only meant that our enemies during World War II—and torturers and murderers and rapists today—deserve “killing.” But the sum total of his remarks plainly suggests otherwise. He seemed to analogize the need to kill World War II enemies to the need to kill enemies in the present, enemies who harbor “evil intent,” enemies conservatives are struggling against “now.”

What’s more, Robinson described those enemies in very broad terms. He suggested that conservatives will lose the spirit of 1776 (meaning their country) to enemies who harass them on social media and elsewhere unless they are prepared to unleash the army and cops to “handle” (i.e., kill) them. These appear to be the “folks” who “need killing.”

Indeed, when Robinson predicted that liberals will say “that sounds awful,” and “too bad,” he himself appeared to anticipate that his call for “killing” would be perceived as a call for political violence.

The Reverend Cameron McGill, the Pastor of Lake Church, confirmed to me that he and Robinson expected these remarks about “killing” to be “scrutinized,” but defended them.

“Without a doubt, those he deemed worthy of death [were] those seeking to kill us,” Pastor Cameron said in an email, adding that Robinson “certainly did not imply the taking of any innocent lives” and that the rest of his speech was “non-controversial.” There was no formal media presence during the speech, the Pastor confirmed.

Video of the speech was clipped by a Democrat, who took it off Lake Church’s video of the event on Facebook, which is still there in full. The Democrat flagged it for The New Republic. You can watch it here:

Lake Church Facebook Page

This tendency on the right to invoke an infinitely hallucinogenic and malleable leftist enemy to justify in advance the political violence that the right itself wants to unleash on its enemies is a near-daily occurrence. Another ripe example came just this week from Kevin Roberts, president of the Heritage Foundation, the brain trust behind Project 2025’s radical blueprint for MAGA authoritarian rule under a second Trump presidency.

“We are in the process of the second American Revolution, which will remain bloodless if the left allows it to be,” Roberts declared.

In this, Roberts essentially said that if liberals and Democrats too vehemently resist MAGA’s intent to stock the government with corrupt loyalists to Trump and unleash mass persecution of the opposition, violence will be necessary to crush them—and if so, it will be their fault for not meekly accepting what they have coming to them. Meanwhile, Trump himself recently suggested that political violence may erupt if the presidential election isn’t conducted with “fairness” and is stolen from him, by which he really means, “if I don’t win.”

Robinson’s new comments are also notable for political reasons. They’re a reminder that the GOP nominee for governor in North Carolina is so extreme that the race to replace term-limited Governor Roy Cooper—Robinson is running against Democratic Attorney General Josh Stein—may prove competitive, even in this red-leaning state.