Daniel Hernandez Jr., the heroic former intern who was credited with helping save former Rep. Gabby Gifford’s (D-AZ) life when she was shot in 2011, went on MSNBC Live on Friday to discuss an anti-gay smear campaign against him, and the sudden flurry of attention being paid Cory Booker’s nonchalant answer to questions about his sexuality.
Hernandez, who is gay, told MSNBC host Thomas Roberts he felt Cory Booker’s “So what does it matter if I am?” response when asked if he was gay just means the discussion around LGBT issues is on the right path.
“I think if there is a silver lining in all this the fact the reason this is happening is because we are winning on so many different issues. This is no longer the achilles heel it used to be.”
Hernandez was elected last year to the board of Tucson’s Sunnyside Unified School District. Supporters of the board’s president recently launched a recall campaign against him, and flyers that attacked Hernandez for being gay and for supporting gun control have been distributed in the district.
“Put a REAL Man on the Sunnyside Board,” read one flyer featuring Hernandez’s picture, first reported by Right Wing Watch. “Daniel Hernandez is LGBT. We need someone who will support Sports and cares about our kids. We don’t need someone who hates our values.”
“Cory is right when he talks about this,” Hernandez said on MSNBC Friday. “Being a real man is not about sending out flyers and not standing up to them. You need to be kind and a dedicated public servant.”
Zoë Schlanger is Frontpage Editor at TPM. Zoë was a TPM intern in 2011, and prior to returning here she was editor in chief of NYU Local, the alternative independent student news site at NYU. Zoë has interned at places like the Nation, InsideClimate News, The Rachel Maddow Show and Gothamist. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.