GOP Senate Candidate: Obama ‘an Animal’
A GOP Senate candidate from Florida called President Barack Obama and “animal” on Monday.
“Unfortunately, for seven and a half years, this animal we call president — because he’s an animal, OK? — for seven and a half years has surgically, with thought and in a very smart, intelligent manner, has destroyed this country and dismantled the military under not one, not two but three secretaries of Defense,” Carlos Beruff said in a video uploaded to YouTube. “They’ve all written books about it.”
“This is a plan,” the businessman added of Obama’s agenda. “He wants us to be just another country. I don’t want to be another country. I want to be the United States of America, the greatest country in the world.”
The Hill reports:
Beruff is one of five Republicans competing in their party’s primary for the seat being vacated by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who is retiring after a failed presidential bid. Reps. Ron DeSantis and David Jolly, Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera and businessman Todd Wilcox are also running.
His comments were made last Thursday during an address to the St. John County’s GOP executive committee, according to the YouTube poster.
Rep. Patrick Murphy, who is squaring off with Rep. Alan Grayson on the Democratic side, told the Tampa Bay Times on Sunday that Beruff’s remarks are offensive.
“Mr. Beruff’s statement is not only offensive, but extremely disrespectful to President Obama’s incredible service to our nation,” Murphy said in a statement.
“I’m proud to stand by President Obama and his commitment to fighting for Florida families, and I call on Mr. Beruff to immediately apologize for his disrespectful comments. In the U.S. Senate, our diverse state deserves better than Mr. Beruff’s clear record of bigotry.”
Beruff fired back at Democratic critics in an email to The Hill on Monday, saying Democrats “think it is a mistake for me to use strong language condemning them for hollowing out our military and making America weaker.”
“I think it is a mistake for them to hollow out our military and make America weaker,” he added.
But Beruff also saw criticism from fellow Republicans, with Jolly saying he went too far in his remarks and calling on him to apologize.
“Like many Americans, I believe with the strongest conviction that the president’s policies of the last seven years have weakened our leadership on the world stage and have weakened us economically here at home,” Jolly said in a statement.
“But referring to the president of the United States as an ‘animal’ is an alarming insult of questionable intent and has no place in American politics. Carlos should immediately apologize.”
Murphy leads Beruff in Florida in a hypothetical matchup, 38 to 32 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University survey released last week.
Beruff said late last month that he would ban anyone from the Middle East from visiting the U.S. until officials “fix” the immigration system.
“I think our immigration department is broken,” he said on April 26. “And I don’t think it’s safe to allow anybody from the Middle East into this country.”
He said his list of banned countries would include “anybody that’s got a terrorist organization in it” when pressed by reporters.
Photo credit: Tampabay.com.