Karla Hernández-Mas, Rep. Charlie Crist’s (D-FL) running mate in Florida’s gubernatorial race, recently insulted students with special needs, asserting that her experience as a special ed teacher will assist her in dealing with the “dysfunctional legislature” if she gets elected.
Hernández-Mats made the remark on Tuesday during a campaign event in Cape Coral, boasting of her experience as a special ed teacher before making the unseemly comparison.
“I’m a teacher. I am a sp-ed teacher, so my major was emotionally-handicapped education, okay?” she said. “That by itself qualifies me to deal with the dysfunctional legislature.”
“[It’s] a unique set of, uh, you know, skill set in order to deal with them,” she continued, prompting a response from Florida’s first lady Casey DeSantis.
“Sickened by callous words from someone who claims to be an advocate for children. Karla, saying children w/ unique abilities are ‘dysfunctional’ & equating them to political opponents is a new low,” DeSantis said.
“I will make it my mission to let all parents know of the ‘hate in your heart,’” she vowed, echoing the language Crist used to describe the governor’s supporters, as the Democrat stated last month that they had tremendous “hate” in their hearts:
Sickened by callous words from someone who claims to be an advocate for children.
Karla, saying children w/ unique abilities are “dysfunctional” & equating them to political opponents is a new low.
I will make it my mission to let all parents know of the “hate in your heart.”
— Casey DeSantis (@CaseyDeSantis) September 14, 2022
This is far from the first controversial statement Crist’s running mate has made. In October 2021, for instance, she insulted concerned parents attending school board meetings, essentially comparing them to characters from horror films:
For any of you following the school board meetings, you know that the craziness is real. God be with us. #antivaxxers #disinformation #misinformation pic.twitter.com/FczrhSebGb
— Karla Hernández (@KarlaforFlorida) October 22, 2021
Her divisive rhetoric matches that of Crist, who last month instructed DeSantis supporters not to vote for him, as according to him they apparently have “hate” in their hearts. He later went on to praise President Biden for having the “courage” to attack MAGA Republicans in a speech.
“God love him. God love him, and I do,” Crist said of Biden. “And he’s told it straight. Democracy is at stake. … Our freedoms are at stake. And the President laid it out, and he couldn’t hold back and I’m so damn proud of him for it.”