Hernández-Mats Casey DeSantis

Florida’s First Lady Blasts Crist’s Running Mate In Dysfunctional “Sped Teacher” Comparison

Democratic Rep. Charlie Crist’s running mate, Karla Hernández-Mats, head of the teachers’ union in Miami, one of the biggest in the nation, says her experience with special needs children will help her "deal with the dysfunctional legislature."

Democratic Rep. Charlie Crist’s running mate, Karla Hernández-Mats, head of the teachers’ union in Miami, one of the biggest in the nation, says her experience with special needs children will help her “deal with the dysfunctional legislature.”

Really…

At a campaign event on Tuesday, Hernández-Mats introduced her background in education and working with children with special needs, as a qualification for holding the statewide office and handling the “dysfunctional legislature.”

“I’m a teacher, I am a ‘sped’ teacher-so my major was emotionally-handicapped education, okay? That by itself qualifies me to deal with the dysfunctional legislature,” Hernández-Mats said in a video posted by DeSantis War Room.

Florida’s First Lady Casey DeSantis shot back in literal disgust Wednesday, ” As a mom, I am disgusted and sickened by the callous, insensitive, and ignorant comments by someone who claims to be an advocate for children.

“Karla, saying that children with unique abilities are “dysfunctional” and equating them to your political opponents is beyond a new low.

“As First Lady, I will make it my mission to let all parents across this state know of the “hate in your heart.”

Democratic Rep. Charlie Crist’s running mate, Karla Hernández-Mats, head of the teachers’ union in Miami, one of the biggest in the nation, says her experience with special needs children will help her "deal with the dysfunctional legislature."

Hernández-Mats, the vice president of the second-largest teachers union in the country and president of United Teachers of Dade, was chosen by Crist last month to join Florida’s Democratic ticket.

But since she was picked, has come under fire multiple times as her past and present have come back to haunt her.

In August, Hernández-Mats accused the DeSantis administration of “deprofessionalizing” the teaching profession by encouraging veterans and first responders to become educators. She claimed that was because teachers must have bachelor’s or master’s degrees.

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“To think someone with four years’ combat experience would do well in our schools is actually very disrespectful to our educators,” Hernández-Mats told an interviewer.

In tweeting about her comments, the DeSantis camp said, “This initiative is good for vets, schools, and students, which is why Governor DeSantis and every Florida lawmaker supported it.”

On August 26th, Hernández-Mats’ conflicted story about how she felt about the death of communist Cuban dictator Fidel Castro was revealed.

“A political figure dies at 90. Most in Miami rejoice many in Cuba mourn #FidelCastro,” tweeted Hernández-Mats in 2016.

The next day, DeSantis War Room posted a tweet of a truck in Hialeah sporting a digital billboard of Hernandez’s tweet. “In Hialeah this morning,” the account noted, local residents are protesting Charlie Crist’s choice of Castro regime-sympathizer teacher union boss Karla Hernandez Mats as his running mate. #KarlaMarx”

Apparently, pointing out Hernandez’s sympathy for the deceased tyrant in South Florida was gaining traction. Hernandez then deleted the tweet.

The following day, Hernández-Mats responded with an explanation.

“I proudly celebrated Fidel’s death, banging on pots and pans in the streets of Hialeah with my neighbors,” she tweeted Tuesday night. “It was heartbreaking that after decades of oppression, the Cuban people were forced to mourn the death of a tyrant.”

But as respondents noted, she clearly didn’t say those Cubans “were forced” to lament the death of the Western Hemisphere’s longest-serving tyrant.

DeSantis campaign spokeswoman Christina Pushaw then offered some thoughts.

“Poor attempt at gaslighting. You didn’t say Cubans were ‘FORCED to mourn the death of a tyrant.’ You said that Cubans ‘mourned’ ‘a political figure,’” she tweeted in reply.

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“You can try to spin it however you want 6 years later, but nobody is buying it. You’re sorry you got caught. #KarlaMarx.”

Pushaw then added, “#KarlaMarx said something outrageous in 2016. She should’ve owned up to it & apologized. She isn’t Cuban; she could’ve claimed she was just ignorant of the situation there. People might forgive her. But now she’s doubling down & spinning to defend her tweet – only makes it worse!”

When another user pointed out that Hernandez’s attempt to explain herself was bogus because it took more than a week to come up with a response, Pushaw added, “Yup. @DeSantisWarRoom did more vetting of #KarlaMarx in 4 hours than Charlie Crist’s campaign did before announcing her as his running mate.”

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Free Press.

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