Self-proclaimed democratic-socialist Bernie Sanders, currently the frontrunner among Democratic presidential candidates, recently came under fire from both the right and left for his remarks in apparent defense of the late communist dictator Fidel Castro and his brutally oppressive communist Cuban regime.
Even the top spokesperson for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) attempted on Tuesday to place some distance between the organization and the outspoken senator by suggesting that Sanders speaks only for himself and noting that the DNC stands firmly opposed to all “brutal dictatorships” like Castro’s, The Daily Caller reported.
DNC distances itself from Bernie
Old videos from the 1980s of Sanders praising communist regimes such as the Soviet Union, the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, and Castro in Cuba resurfaced in recent days, and when pressed about those decades-old remarks by some in the media, Sanders not only stood by them but, in the case of Castro, actually doubled down by suggesting Castro wasn’t entirely bad or evil because he instituted a successful “literacy program” — so at least the starving Cubans could read while they were imprisoned for dissent against the regime.
In an appearance on Fox News on Tuesday afternoon with anchor Bill Hemmer, DNC spokesperson Xochitl Hinojosa — who was in Charleston, South Carolina ahead of that night’s Democratic debate — was asked to respond to Sanders’ commentary in defense of the communist Castro regime in Cuba.
“Well, I’ll let Bernie Sanders speak for his comments,” Hinojosa replied. “But we are very clear in the Democratic Party that we speak out against brutal dictatorships like those of Castro and we support the people of Cuba fleeing Cuba under that dictatorship. And we have been very clear as a party when it comes to that.
“I encourage all of these candidates, whether it be Bernie Sanders or anyone on that debate stage tonight, to go to Florida, talk to people in Florida. Listen to their stories, listen to what they went through, and I think any candidate would benefit from that,” she added. “And that is what is part of this primary — you need to go and appeal to a broad coalition of people, and I think that that will be relayed on Super Tuesday.”
A DNC spokesperson went on Fox News to throw Bernie Sanders under the bus. pic.twitter.com/c2DVdlDQXF
— jordan (@JordanUhl) February 25, 2020
Damning Sanders with faint praise
Later in the interview, asked how Sanders’ socialism and “free stuff” mantra would play in South Carolina and elsewhere while voters were experiencing a booming economy under President Trump, Hinojosa laughably contradicted herself by first attempting to give former President Barack Obama credit for the good economy while simultaneously suggesting that the economy wasn’t really all that good for average working-class Americans.
At the end of the discussion, Hemmer questioned how the Democratic Party would feel if Sanders ended up being the nominee, given all of the current heat he’s facing from all sides over his openly declared socialist tendencies.
However, Hinojosa carefully swerved away from directly answering that question. “We don’t know who will be our nominee but I can say that anyone on that stage would be a better president than Donald Trump, and we have made that loud and clear and it will be up to the voters to decide,” she said.
She went on: “We are at this point, after South Carolina, only have five percent of the delegates. After Super Tuesday, that’ll be over 40% of the delegates, so there’s a lot of race left and we do not know what will happen yet but I’m confident that any person in the race, any person on that stage tonight, will be a better president than Donald Trump.”
Typically, the DNC will stand virtually unmoved behind its candidates, come hell or high water, and defend them from any and all attacks. Not so with Sanders, however, who was just thrown under the bus by that organization over his Castro commentary — though at least Hinojosa refrained from backing the bus over Sanders once again when asked about the potential reaction to his prospective nomination.