A Republican candidate has deleted his Twitter account following a hateful tirade aimed at Parkland survivor and gun control activist Emma González.
Leslie Gibson, who is running unopposed in Maine, tweeted: “There is nothing about this skinhead lesbian that impresses me and there is nothing that she has to say unless you’re a frothing at the mouth moonbat,” according to the Portland Press Herald. A 'moonbat' is a derogatory term used to describe someone with extreme left-wing political views.
He continued, saying that González, who is openly bisexual, didn't count as a survivor because she “was in a completely different part of the school” when the shooting took place.
Gibson later apologised to the student, writing: “I would like to extend to you my most sincere apology for how I addressed you."
“It was wrong and unacceptable. You are doing work that is important to you," he said, adding: “I would like to extend my hand in friendship and understanding to you.”
Explaining his passion for guns, Gibson pointed to his time in the military, saying he swore an oath “to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States".
“Because of this,” he said, “I am very passionate about protecting our constitutional rights from those who seek their elimination."
“It was not appropriate to single out the Parkland students, but I stand firm in my defence of our constitutional rights.”
Pat Fogg, a Democratic organiser in Maine, said he hoped an alternative candidate would step up to challenge Gibson for the seat.
“I wish I knew someone who could get into this race,” said Fogg. “[But] that sort of stupidity really turns people off.”