Florida Gov. Rick Scott began his RNC speech on Wednesday by expressing his “gratitude to everyone who has kept us in their prayers after the horrific and hate-filled terrorist attack in Orlando a month ago.”
“We have received an outpouring of love and support from Americans everywhere,” he continued. “The American people sure stick up for each other. On behalf of the state of Florida: thank you, thank you, thank you!”
The attack Scott refers to, of course, is the June 12 mass shooting at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando that left 50 dead, including the shooter, Omar Mateen. Mateen professed loyalty to ISIS during a 911 call placed amid the attack, but his father told the media the rampage “had nothing to do with religion,” adding that Omar became angry after seeing two men kissing in Miami earlier this year. The shooting was the deadliest act of violence against the LGBT community in American history.
But during his seven-minute RNC speech, Scott didn’t mention the LGBT community once. He also didn’t mention the fact that the semi-automatic rifle Mateen used was legally purchased shortly before the shooting. Instead, he blamed President Obama for the attack, asking the crowd “How many more times does the evil of radical Islamic terrorism have to occur, before the President of the United States will muster the courage to face the truth? How many more ‘Orlandos,’ ‘San Bernadinos,’ or ‘Ft. Hoods’ will happen until President Obama decides to be honest?”
Scott is hardly the only Republican to ignore the LGBT community and guns while discussing Orlando — many GOP members of Congress did the same in their initial responses to the shooting.
During a Fox News appearance earlier Wednesday, Scott was asked about his thoughts on the fact that the new GOP platform still opposes same-sex marriage.
“The Supreme Court has already made a decision,” Scott said, according to a Politico report. He then mentioned the Orlando shooting, which he characterized as attacking “our gay community [and] our Hispanic community.”
“We need to figure out how to come together as a country and include the Republican Party,” he added. “We all need to come together.”
For whatever reason, those sentiments didn’t make it into the speech he delivered to the RNC hours later.