MSNBC host Jonathan Capehart questioned Republican House nominee Leon Benjamin about a homophobic Facebook post near the end of an interview on Sunday (You can watch Capehart’s interview with Benjamin below).
Capehart went after the GOP candidate and pastor who hopes to win a special election in February and fill a seat vacated by the late Rep. Donald McEachin (D-Va.), who died in November.
Capehart flashed a screenshot of the post, which is still online as of early Monday morning, before calling on the candidate to start their conversation with his claim that he “wanted to be a bridge” on Sunday.
“You used the word unity. How is that a bridge? How is that a unit for Virginia’s 4th congressional district, which most likely has LGBTQ people in that district? asked Capehart.
Benjamin’s reaction later elicited a puzzled look from the host.
“I think you’re looking at it another way,” Benjamin said.
He added: “I think the LGBTQ are all dealing with high gas prices. I don’t think we should marginalize a group of people and use them for political gain. I think the LGBTQ and the gay are dealing with high gas prices, inflation, high crime, education. I think we all face problems, and we shouldn’t marginalize them, and I think my sympathy is really strong enough…”
Capehart fired back at Benjamin with a comment about his own identity.
“As an open, gay, married man, I struggle to find compassion in that 2011 post,” Capehart told Benjamin before the candidate claimed he “wouldn’t marginalize” him.