#Matt Gaetz reveals ‘son’ after fiery debate with Cedric Richmond

#Matt Gaetz reveals ‘son’ after fiery debate with Cedric Richmond

Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz introduced a Cuban-born teenager who he raised as a son, following a fiery personal debate on race with Rep. Cedric Richmond.

“For all those wondering, this is my son Nestor,” Gaetz tweeted Thursday. “We share no blood but he is my life. He came from Cuba (legally, of course) six years ago and lives with me in Florida. I am so proud of him and raising him has been the best, most rewarding thing I’ve done in my life.”

“Nestor turned 19 a few days ago & will be off to University. He arrived here at 12,” Gaetz added. “As you can imagine, I was triggered when (to make an absurd debate point) a fellow congressman diminished the contributions of Republicans because we don’t raise non-white kids. Well, I have.”

Gaetz, a Republican, and Richmond, a Democrat who represents Louisiana, sparred Wednesday during a hearing on police reform.

Richmond accused Republicans on the committee, who are all white, of stalling.

“As a black male who went to the fifth-best public high school in the country, who was a victim of excessive force, who has a black son, who has worries that you all don’t,” he said, “and to my colleagues, especially the ones that keep introducing amendments that are a tangent and a distraction from what we’re talking about, you all are white males.”

That angered Gaetz, who responded, “Are you suggesting that you’re certain that none of us have non-white children? Because you reflect on your black son, and you said none of us could understand.”

“It is not about the color of your kids,” he said. “It is about black males, black people in the streets that are getting killed, and if one of them happens to be your kid, I’m concerned about him, too, and clearly, I’m more concerned about him than you are.”

Matt Gaetz and his 'son' Nestor
Matt Gaetz and his ‘son’ NestorTwitter

Gaetz then erupted, “You’re claiming you have more concern for my family than I do? Who in the hell do you think you are?”

“If the shoe fits,” Richmond replied, as Chairman Jerry Nadler rapped his gavel.

Gaetz told PEOPLE he met Nestor when the boy was 12 and had just arrived from Cuba — where he’d grown up and his mother had recently died of breast cancer.

Gaetz, a state legislator at the time, was dating Nestor’s older sister.

So Nestor moved in with them — “a modern family,” he told the outlet.

Aside from an interruption during Nestor’s junior year after Gaetz broke up with Nestor’s sister, the young man basically lived with Gaetz since he moved to the U.S., according to the report.

“He is a part of my family story,” Gaetz added. “My work with Nestor, our family, no element of my public service could compare to the joy that our family has brought me.”

While Geatz did not formally adopt Nestor, he explained, “our relationship as a family is defined by our love for each other, not by any paperwork.”

Matt Gaetz, his dog Stella and his 'son' Nestor
Matt Gaetz, his dog Stella and his ‘son’ NestorTwitter

Nestor appeared with Geatz in an interview with Tucker Carlson Thursday night.

“I woke up to seeing all these tweets and I was like, ‘What is going on?’” Nestor said. “I think it’s kind of unfair to tell someone that they don’t understand because of their racial color.”

Meanwhile, Twitter commenters slammed Gaetz, some using the #FreeNestor hashtag, and others accusing him of turning the teen into a prop.

“Matt Gaetz using Nestor to score political points or to show he is not racist is disgusting,” one user wrote, garnering over 2,000 likes.

But former California Rep. Katie Hill, a Democrat, defended Gaetz.

“Many of you know @mattgaetz & I have an unlikely friendship,” she tweeted. “I can’t stand a lot of his beliefs but he’s been there for me when others haven’t. He talks about Nestor more than anything, has done so much for his son & is truly a proud dad. This #freenestor thing is bulls–t. Stop.”

“Also he was never “hiding” his son,” Hill added. “He was trying to protect him from the crap that comes from being a politician’s kid, esp after what Nestor had been through, esp in this political climate. Now that Nestor is grown he’s made his own choice to enter the spotlight. Good for them.”


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