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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Opponents call on Carlos Beruff to apologize for calling Obama 'an animal'

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Carlos Beruff is refusing to apologize for calling President Barack Obama "an animal" who has been trying to turn America into "just another country."

Since a video of Beruff making the remarks surfaced on Sunday, both Democratic and Republican candidates in the Senate race have blasted the Manatee County homebuilder for stepping over the line for calling Obama an animal.

U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter, was first to take issue with the language.

"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 first published by the Huffington Post. “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's spokesman Chris Hartline chided Murphy for the statement.

"When liberals like young Congressman Patrick Murphy cannot defend their views they resort to name calling and the politics of racial division," Hartline said.

Hartline said the people who owe an apology are Murphy and other politicians who have been "aiding President Obama in making America weaker."

During the speech in St. Johns County, Beruff alleged that Obama has been destroying the military and that he has a plan to make American "just another country."

"Unfortunately, for seven and a half years this animal we call president, because he’s an animal, OK — seven and a half years, has surgically and with thought and very smart, intelligent manner, destroyed this country and dismantled the military under not one, not two, but three secretary of defenses,” Beruff said in a video recording of his speech. “And they’ve all written books about it.”

But Murphy is not the only one upset with the choice of words. U.S. Rep. David Jolly, a Pinellas County Republican, also took issue with Beruff, issuing his own statement later in the day.

"Like many Americans, I believe with the strongest conviction that the President's policies the last 7 years have weakened our leadership on the world stage and have weakened us economically here at home, 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," Jolly said. "Carlos should immediately apologize."

Jolly and Beruff are in a crowded primary field that also includes U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, Orlando area businessman Todd Wilcox and Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera.

The winner of the Aug. 30 primary is likely to face either Murphy or U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson.

See the video here: https://youtu.be/wl3RkzTxiPA

[Last modified: Sunday, May 15, 2016 8:56pm]

    

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