MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – Republican Gubernatorial candidate Diane Black defended recent ideas which drew plenty of critics in recent days. She spoke exclusively to Local 24’s Brad Broders.
Black recently said pornography is a factor in school shootings, and proposed legislation in Congress where citizens could donate money for a U.S.-Mexico border wall.
MORE: Full interview with Diane Black
Black talked the economy and visited business leaders during her Memphis stop Friday morning, in a statewide race where her thoughts on national events are getting a whole lot of national attention in recent weeks.
“We like where we are in the race,” said Black.
Black isn’t taking any pocket of Tennessee for granted, as she listens and works for votes ahead of the gubernatorial primary this summer.
“We want to do everything we can to break down any barriers that would create a barrier for a new company coming here,” said Black. "We see a growth in the economy so I’m listening to them about what they need…. I’m very proud that in Congress this last year we were able to pass the tax reform which we see impacting business small medium and large."
But it’s not her jobs ideas which put Black in the national headlines in recent days. It’s a comment to local pastors about the role she felt pornography played in school shootings.
“I think that’s a big part of the root cause that we see so many young people that have mental illness,” said Black. "Why is it that we are seeing this surge of this violence with these young people, and when they are looking at videos and they are not getting good parental guidance or guidance from someone."
Friday, Black said she was taken out of context but stood by the broader statement.
“Children who don’t have that direction are going to look for things that maybe aren’t always as good for them. So, violence, violent videos, violent video games and movies, and so pornography is a part of that,” said Black. "Why is it, 20, 25, 30 years ago when there were just as many weapons around that we didn’t have this happening?"
Black also defended her recent proposal to would allow people to chip in donations to help pay for President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall with Mexico.
“People want to see this done. They’re concerned about the safety here in our country as I am, and the President is, and this is just one way to help fund the wall,” said Black. "What I’m doing is dedicating a fund, which, by the way, this crowd-funding was actually used before in our nation with the Washington monument."
Black isn’t the only Republican Gubernatorial candidate in the Memphis area. Bill Lee spoke Thursday morning in Cordova, and Randy Boyd scheduled stops across West Tennessee Monday.
The Gubernatorial primary is in August and early voting starts in 40 days.