A Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate from Florida repeatedly called President Barack Obama an “animal” during a county GOP meeting on Thursday.
Republican candidate, Carlos Beruff, addressed party members at a St. John’s GOP gathering and accused Obama of destroying America and its military.
“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,” he said. “And they’ve all written books about it.”
“Sooner or later, you’re going to find, this was a plan, 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,” he added to a room filled with applause.
Beruff, along with five other Republicans, are competing to replace retiring Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). He has a real estate background and has been compared to both Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R), who endorsed the GOP presidential nominee earlier this year.
Last month, Beruff proposed to go a step further than Trump’s controversial proposal to block all Muslims from coming to the United States and ban all people from the Middle East from entering the country.
Beruff, however, remains a long-shot candidate for the Senate as he currently stands at just 1 percent, trailing behind all of his rivals, including U.S. Reps. David Jolly and Ron DeSantis of Florida.
The leading Democratic candidate in the race, U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy (Fla.), condemned the comments in a statement sent to HuffPost on Sunday.
“Mr. Beruff’s statement is not only offensive, but extremely disrespectful to President Obama’s incredible service to our nation,” the statement read. “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.”