In the latest act of a seemingly never-ending saga, Florida Rep. Daphne Campbell, D-Miami Shores, called, once again, for a public apology from fellow Democrat, Rep. Scott Randolph, Orlando, on Tuesday, saying he had attacked her faith after she pledged her support for anti-abortion legislation.
According to an article at the pro-life magazine Charisma, Campbell was joined by two-dozen supporters outside the Orlando offices of Randolph on Tuesday, demanding a public apology. During a press conference at the demonstration, which was posted on YouTube, Campbell said that Randolph began bullying her shortly after she finished a speech in support of several pro-life measures. “He come to me and he took all the books on the table and he flung them at my face…with a lot of ‘F’ words, several times…and he said ‘I swear! You could never be reelected! I swear! I’m going to get an opponent to replace you!’”
Accounts of the incident have been shifting since the news broke more than two weeks ago. Campbell said that, after the incident, the media inaccurately reported that she was throwing papers “back and forth” in the chamber. “I want a public apology, because my name is tarnished publicly,” she said during Tuesday’s press conference.
Randolph has acknowledged that he tossed Campbell’s pen in the trash, but has been quoted as saying he did not throw anything at her. According to the Orlando Sentinel, Randolph said that Campbell’s story “keeps changing all the time.”
Campbell defended herself against those who have called her an “undercover Republican” in a separate video posted on Charisma’s website: “I know the Bible and I know abortion is against my God,” she said. “All these bills for abortion … are all against the Bible principle.” Campbell went on to say that she didn’t know that Democrats would be offended by her support of anti-abortion legislation, and that she had told them where she stood before the legislative session began.
Another video from Tuesday’s demonstration show Campbell surrounded by supporters, holding signs that say “Scott Randolph, maybe you should resign” and “Apologize or Resign.” While speaking to the camera, Campbell pledges to draw up her own bill against abortion for the next legislative session, and says that she will not back down from her support of anti-choice bills. “I’m talking on behalf of that Master,” says Campbell, pointing to the sky. “A great God, a mighty God.”
John Stemberger, President of the Florida Family Policy Council, who spoke at the conference, compared Campbell to 18th Century British politician William Wilberforce, who argued against the end of the slave trade. “When minorities, when Latinos and black Americans own this issue and lead the pro-life movement, we will end abortion in America,” said Stemberger.