After this week’s stunning victory of Donald Trump in the Indiana primaries, talk on the street has morphed from who will be the presumptive Republican candidate into who will Trump announce as his vp running mate. The name at the top of almost everyone’s list, including The Donald’s, is that of Florida Governor Rick Scott. Around this state, of course, Scott’s name in LGBT speak is a particularly nasty curse word.
As minorities go, Donald Trump hasn’t been exceptionally harsh on gays and lesbians. Not that he’s been nice, but as his big mouth goes, it’s been rather pH balanced on the LGBT acidity scale. Considering that this is a man who takes particular pride in insulting entire religions, sexes, and countries, the fact that he has pasted little more than a sound-bite bandage on the LGBT issue during his nine months of campaigning is akin to a miracle of sorts.
After all, he’s labeled all Mexicans as “rapists” and “drug dealers.” He’s said that every Muslim should be banned from entering the U.S., including those who are Americans. And he considers most women to be pigs, particularly those who have chosen journalism as a career. Yet, LGBTs have flown more or less under his radar, with the recent exception of same-sex marriage. You’ll remember that at one point Trump was willing to tolerate gay marriage and even attended one. Then he gave it some thought and now says it should be reconsidered by the courts—as in the Supreme Court, to which he would appoint justices specifically for that purpose.
While Rick Scott has not made any obvious comments about Mexican or Muslims, he doesn’t think much about gays—or at least the ones in Florida. He has tried everything in his power as governor to keep them from having the ability to be legally married or adopt children. And it still bothers him that we actually now have the right to do both, after lengthy court battles that cost the state hundreds of thousands of dollars to defend.
It’s just one of the reasons that Michael Mayo of the Sun Sentinel newspaper called the idea of a Trump-Scott ticket akin to “tuberculosis picking leprosy as a running mate.”
Mayo correctly pointed to the fact that “Scott is one of the least popular sitting governors, scoring 48 percent unfavorable (and 38 percent favorable) in a recent poll. Scott has won two terms, but failed to capture more than 50 percent of the vote in each election.”
Compared to Trump, however, he’s the prom king. Trump is heading into the Republican presidential convention with the highest unfavorable ratings ever seen among a major presidential candidate–65 percent. The haters speak.
LGBT advocate Michael Rajner told the Florida Agenda that “The prospect of a Trump-Scott presidential ticket is frightening. Florida is already underwater as Governor Scott’s administration fails to tackle climate change and refuses to speak the words. Most recently, the Governor’s office directed the Department of Children and Families to strike any LGBT reference in a set of rules it is considering relating to foster care. Trump and Scott are misguided to think building walls and making communities of people invisible will make America great again. Our diversity is what makes us a great nation,” Rajner said.
Marc Paige, a speaker on HIV issues in schools across the nation, suggests, “The thought of Rick Scott being a heartbeat away from the presidency is just as frightening as Donald Trump in the Oval Office. Go Hillary!”
There are 15 remaining primaries left for voters to elect the leading party candidates, with the highest delegate count in California on June 7.