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Mitch Perry Report for 5.16.16 – Carlos Beruff is NOT apologizing regarding Obama remark

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Carlos Beruff made some news yesterday, but despite his aggressive response, it can’t be marked up as a good day for the Republican candidate for Senate.

The Manatee County developer prides himself on not being politically correct, and he’s not absolutely not apologizing after the Huffington Post reported over the weekend (with video) of Beruff calling President Obama “an animal” in a speech last week in St. John’s County.

“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. “And they’ve all written books about it.”

The story contained a response from one of the six major candidates running in the senate race, Jupiter Democratic Representative Patrick Murphy. He called the remark “not only offensive,  but extremely disrespectful to President Obama’s incredible service to our nation.” He also called on Beruff to apologize.

David Jolly chimed in last night, sending out a statement that read, “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. Carlos should immediately apologize.”

I contacted the Beruff camp, who directed me to their earlier response to Murphy’s statement.

“When liberals like young Congressman Patrick Murphy cannot defend their views they resort to name-calling and the politics of racial division,” spokesperson Chris Hardline said. ” Carlos was making the point that President Obama has destroyed our country’s strength abroad.  Congressman Murphy and the rest of the career politicians in Washington should apologize for aiding President Obama in making America weaker.  Carlos will not be lectured by this young kid Congressman Murphy who has never had a job other than the one his dad bought for him in Congress.”

No direct response to Jolly’s call that he apologize. We’ll have to see what Ron DeSantis, Todd Wilcox and Carlos Lopez-Cantera have to say about this today, if anything.

In other news…

The Republican Party of Florida met on Friday and Saturday for their spring quarterly meeting in Tampa. On Saturday, they announced who will be their 99 delegates at the convention in Cleveland.

The party’s engagement committee realizes that their quest to add black and Latino voters to their numbers this fall is challenged by their presidential nominee’s statements on issues like immigration.

Ron DeSantis blasted the Obama administration for comments made by a top staffer in the NY Times magazine regarding the selling of the Iranian nuclear deal.

Kelli Stargell and Matt Hudson addressed the Florida Republicans on ten of the most important bills passed by the Legislature this year. One of them was Stargel’s sponsored anti-abortion bill.

Watch Beruff’s video below:

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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