President Obama Hasn't Called Florida Gov. Rick Scott & This Might Be Why
In the days after the June 12 shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, there has been an outpouring of support to the LGBTQ community in Florida, and across the country — from politicians, from celebrities, from people pitching in and donating blood. However, one key lawmaker took two full days to acknowledge the LGBTQ community: Florida Gov. Rick Scott. Yet, on Tuesday morning, Scott said President Obama has yet to reach out to him in the wake of the Orlando shooting, and it's hard not to wonder if President Obama isn't calling Scott until he acknowledges the LGBTQ community.
According to Politico, on Tuesday morning Scott told Brian Kilmeade of FOX that he had not received a call from President Obama after the shooting in Orlando, even though former President George W. Bush, and the GOP's presumptive presidential nominee, Donald Trump, both called the governor to share their condolences and support.
However, Scott's lack of support for LGBTQ people in the wake of the Orlando shooting is rather appalling, and it very well could be the reason why Scott has not received a call from the White House. It's not just that Scott has not reached out the the LGBTQ community, the Florida governor refused to even acknowledge that the LGBTQ community was targeted in the shooting until Tuesday.
That's right: 49 people were shot, and 53 wounded, at a gay nightclub, by a shooter who was allegedly openly homophobic, and Gov. Scott would not address the LGBTQ community. In fact, the Republican governor has not even said the terms "LGBTQ" or "gay" aloud in the aftermath of the shooting. All he's done to acknowledge the LGBTQ community is tweet on Tuesday (over 48 hours after the attack):
We pray for our LGBT community. Our Hispanic community. Our state. Our nation. This was an attack on every American. We are #OrlandoStrong
However, what Scott does not seem to understand is that the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history took place on Sunday morning, and it was not targeted at "every American" — the shooter almost certainly purposefully targeted LGBTQ people. President Obama immediately acknowledged the LGBTQ community in his statement on Sunday, saying:
This is an especially heartbreaking day for all our friends -- our fellow Americans -- who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. The shooter targeted a nightclub where people came together to be with friends, to dance and to sing, and to live.
Considering that the president clearly understands that the Orlando shooting was at least in part a hate crime against LGBTQ people, it's unlikely he will want to speak with the Florida governor until he, too, comes to this understanding — and reaches out to the LGBTQ community in his state.