Karla Hernández’s video clip on ‘dysfunctional Legislature’ stirs outrage

Karla Hernández
Working in special education, she says, 'by itself qualifies me to work with a dysfunctional Legislature.'

A national Republican organization is demanding Charlie Crist’s running mate apologize to the state’s special needs students after a video surfaced showing what was called her “demeaning” attack on them.

The Democrat’s Lieutenant Governor nominee Karla Hernández is a special education teacher. But Stephanie Rivera, national Press Secretary for the Republican State Leadership Committee, said she’s hit a new low in her attack on the state’s Republican-led Legislature.

First Lady Casey DeSantis, whose husband will face Crist in the November General Election, also tweeted her outrage over the clip of a Tuesday Cape Coral house party obtained by Fox News Digital. She also called it a new low.

“Sickened by callous words from someone who claims to be an advocate for our children,” DeSantis tweeted. And then she addressed Hernández in her tweet. “I will make it my mission to let all parents know of the ‘hate in your heart.’”

The Crist campaign did not return a request for comment Wednesday.

The video shows her addressing what appears to be a friendly crowd in someone’s living room, standing before a TV with a slide show of campaign photos, including Crist and campaign banners

“I’m a sp-ed (special education) teacher, so my major is emotionally handicapped education, OK?” Hernández says in the clip. “That by itself qualifies me to deal with a dysfunctional Legislature.”

An explosion of laughter, whoops and applause greet her comments and she can be heard adding over the hubbub, “a unique set of skill sets you need to have to deal.”

Rivera, whose organization recruits state Republican candidates, said this isn’t the first time Hernández has had to pull her foot out of her mouth. Trolls have swarmed over a 2016 tweet that Fidel Castro’s death was mourned in Cuba, which she tried to explain.

Crist declined to comment on the latest at a press availability on Thursday that chiefly concerned the state-sponsored flights of migrants to Martha’s Vineyard Wednesday.

“We’re dealing with a serious topic right now,” he said. “Let’s stay on this topic and continue to be serious.”

Previously, though, he has come out defending his running mate.

“It shows that they’re afraid of her. She’s a strong woman. She’s Hispanic. She’s from Miami-Dade. She’s bilingual. She’s brilliant. She was a special ed teacher. That’s a lot of greatness for what she can do,” Crist said. “So they’re trying to poke holes in it. It’s all junk.”

Hernández’s use of the word, “handicapped” might also raise eyebrows. The Merriam-Webster online dictionary deems it “sometimes offensive.”

Anne Geggis

Anne Geggis is a South Florida journalist who began her career in Vermont and has worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun covering government issues, health and education. She was a member of the Sun-Sentinel team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Parkland high school shooting. You can reach her on Twitter @AnneBoca or by emailing [email protected].


  • Tom

    September 14, 2022 at 7:27 pm

    Just a incompetent pollutant.
    Really no class. Just a taco per Jill Biden.
    Matz is a total tool of the NEA, weingarten.
    She crossed the wrong person in Casey D.
    Wait til the ads come out. Blame the chameleon idiot. She gone!

    • Ghost of Robert Bork

      September 14, 2022 at 8:08 pm

      Casey DeSantis is a pig in lipstick. She wants to open her mouth and wad in public spats, she better be ready for the blowback. And she better be careful or else the tea about her in Tallahassee will get out. Hint: it isn’t very positive.

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  • Karla Hernandez

    September 14, 2022 at 8:14 pm

    Vote for me. Together me and Charlie will put anti-government terrorists like Tom underneath the jail. Yeah Charlie will give him a vicious Bruce Lee cross kick to the chest, a heel kick to the top of the head, and a roundhouse kick to the mouth. Outta there buddy…

  • Tom

    September 14, 2022 at 8:37 pm

    That’s why I am the F P Legend!

    • Charlie Crist

      September 14, 2022 at 9:35 pm

      No such thing as an FP legend. You’re a delusional narcissist buddy..seek help before you take it too far and you are arrested or you get body slammed.

      • Tom

        September 14, 2022 at 9:55 pm

        I urinate on filth like you!
        Legend over and out!

        • Charlie Crist

          September 14, 2022 at 10:18 pm

          Pffft…you kick your legs over your head and piss in your own mouth. That’s about it. Seek help for disorder. When I’m elected, you’re gonna be euthanized buddy.

          • Tom

            September 14, 2022 at 10:31 pm

            Whizzing on you.

  • David in Shoreline

    September 14, 2022 at 8:39 pm

    One loser candidate picks another loser candidate for running mate. A tale as old as time. Go DeSantis Go!

    • Elliott Offen

      September 14, 2022 at 9:36 pm

      Trump was the biggest loser in American history. Anything is better.. accept mini Trump AkA Mini Orange Hitler.

  • Maven

    September 14, 2022 at 10:37 pm

    Casey DeSantis is really asking for the Tallahassee tea to be spilled. Believe me, it is not pretty. She has bullied so many young staffers in the Governor’s office.

    • Terry

      September 14, 2022 at 10:51 pm

      And just where did you get that bit of information Maven? Do you have inside information or just making it up.

    • just sayin

      September 15, 2022 at 7:48 am

      This is the exact opposite of reality. She’s good cop in the relationship.

      • Lost my soul in Tallahassee

        September 19, 2022 at 9:12 pm

        Casey is only the good cop with people who “matter” — donors and people with influence in the GOP. She has certainly had a history of bullying staff, especially when there are screwups in either her husband’s admin or campaign and she needs a scapegoat. But I will give her credit for one thing: she started figuring early in his tenure, when staff start dropping like flies, that being a little kinder than her husband got staff to be more forgiving/blinding themselves to the toxic environment in the governor’s office. She can feign niceties better than him, but her true self still comes out on occasion.

  • Phil Morton

    September 15, 2022 at 4:35 am

    Karla is not wrong. The Florida Legislature is dysfunctional and needs to be replaced.

  • just sayin

    September 15, 2022 at 7:47 am

    “It shows that they’re afraid of her. She’s a strong woman. She’s Hispanic. She’s from Miami-Dade. She’s bilingual. She’s brilliant. She was a special ed teacher. That’s a lot of greatness for what she can do,” Crist said. “So they’re trying to poke holes in it. It’s all junk.”

    LMFAO, Charlie. DeSantis’ running mate Jeanette Nunez is a strong woman, Hispanic, from Miami-Dade, legitimately brilliant, and a lawyer. “They” are not afraid of her at all. They’re probably pretty glad you picked this whackadoodle, actually. She has all the charm of Pushaw, with the difference being that she’ll actually be front and center.

  • tom palmer

    September 15, 2022 at 9:08 am

    It was interesting that the GOP never denied that the Legislature is dysfunctional

  • Tjb

    September 15, 2022 at 9:19 am

    Looks like many of the folks on the right can’t take a joke. When DeSantis or his mouth piece, Christina Pushaw , make a similar remark, they are seen as honest and tough speaking patriots by their followers. Funny how so many on these folks can become snowflakes and then quickly have a meltdown when the opposition do similar taunts.

  • Tjb

    September 15, 2022 at 12:56 pm

    This is a classic demonstration of the alleged wokeness that many on the right accuse the Democratic’s of. But I am glad that the Republican party is starting to become more “woke”.

  • Tired of the GOP Trolls

    September 15, 2022 at 8:10 pm

    Matz isn’t wrong. Except that special ed students would probably be a lot more responsive and responsible than the trolls and performance artists the Republicans send to Tallahassee

  • I am what I am

    September 15, 2022 at 10:10 pm

    Yep Mexico should lead the world with their brilliance. They do a excellent job down there so great they all trample down to the European countries

  • Lynda

    September 16, 2022 at 4:44 pm

    Re video of Karla Hernandez

    There are all too many disgusting comments on this thread. How about some moderation or serious comments. If you must be funny, how about being clever, not disgusting.

    • Fat Cammack

      September 16, 2022 at 11:24 pm

      Vote for me. I’ll throw in a bare assed face scrub, greasy face sit, anchovy slide🍩💋

Comments are closed.


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