HARTFORD, CT – The head of the Democratic Party, House Minority Leader Themis Klarides, and Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano called for one of the Republicans vying for his party’s nomination in the 5th Congressional District to get out of the race following his offensive tweet about U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris.
Robert Hyde, one of three Republicans running for a chance to challenge U.S. Rep. Jahana Hayes, used sexual language to describe Harris’s decision to end her presidential bid earlier this month.
“She went down, brought to her knees. Blew it. Must be a hard one to swallow ….” Hyde tweeted on Dec. 3. The tweet, which has since been removed, linked to an NPR story on Harris’s decision.
“He needs to end his bid for Congress,” Klarides said Tuesday in a phone interview. “The Connecticut Republicans won’t tolerate this from anyone. He should end his bid.” She said Hyde is not someone she would support “under any circumstances.”
“This type of behavior and these words are flat out disgusting and morally reprehensible,” Fasano said in a statement. “I am calling on Mr. Hyde to step down as a candidate for office. His comments are beyond disgraceful and offensive and his actions are not representative of the Republican Party at all. He needs to remove himself as a candidate immediately.”
Democratic Party Chairman Nancy Wyman issued a sharply worded statement.
“Robert Hyde’s social media comment about Senator Harris’ decision to end her political campaign is simply disgusting,” Wyman said. “And the fact that it was made by a Republican candidate for Congress and remained online until today is even more concerning. This kind of insulting commentary, as well as others on his Twitter feed, has no place in any public discourse and any candidate who engages in it has no business seeking elective office.”
Wyman asked for Hyde to end his congressional bid as a result of the comment.
Republican Party Chairman J.R. Romano did not go as far as Wyman in condemning the tweet.
“Obviously the tweet is over the top, unnecessary,” Romano said. “And I think it takes away from very serious things that are happening in the 5th District and in the country.”
Hyde said via text message that he’s not getting out of the race. And he declined the opportunity to offer an apology.
The condemnation on Twitter was swift.
One commenter said, “I hope this disgusting comment ruins you.”
Another person tweeted, “What is your problem? This is not behavior worthy of a public official. You need to stay a private citizen, and you are a disgusting one.”
Yet another commenter announced they were reporting the tweet with the hopes of getting it removed.
By Tuesday afternoon, the tweet had been removed. Hyde said he did not remove the tweet.
Other commenters used the incident as fuel to donate to Hayes’ re-election campaign.
Hyde was profiled last month by Hearst CT Media. As a donor to President Donald Trump’s campaign, Hyde reportedly spends a lot of time at Trump properties getting pictures with Trump’s inner circle to post to social media.
Two other Republicans, Ruben Rodriguez and David X. Sullivan, are also vying for the Republican nomination. The convention will be held in May.