Florida Democrats tore into Bernie Sanders after the Democratic front-runner praised Cuban dictator Fidel Castro in a 60 Minutes interview that aired on Sunday.
“We’re very opposed to the authoritarian nature of Cuba but you know, it’s unfair to simply say everything is bad,” Sanders said.
He added, “When Fidel Castro came into office, you know what he did? He had a massive literacy program. Is that a bad thing? Even though Fidel Castro did it?”
According to Politico, despite Sanders’ insistence that he’s the best candidate to take on Trump in November, “Florida Democrats insist he‘s the worst-equipped after Sanders’s refusal Sunday night to thoroughly condemn the Cuban Revolution.”
“Donald Trump wins Florida if Bernie is our nominee,” state Rep. Javier Fernandez said, according to the report. “If Bernie Sanders is atop the ticket, it’s going to make it tougher for all of us to win in Florida.”
More via Politico:
His comments on 60 Minutes sent shockwaves through the nation’s biggest battleground state, where Democratic members of Congress, state legislators and party leaders warned that his nomination — and Sanders’s self-described “Democratic socialism” — will cost them the biggest battleground state of them all.
In Florida, the concerns with Sanders are particularly acute in the Jewish- and Hispanic-heavy southeast, notably the Miami-area, a liberal bastion that a Democrat needs to carry by big margins to win the state. Top Florida elections are often decided by about a percent or less, making small shifts in the electorate loom large on Election Night.
This is not the message that will beat Donald Trump in November
It doesn’t matter whether Bernie Sanders thinks he has a point by offering a nuanced position on Fidel Castro’s agenda. The fact that – if he’s the nominee – he’ll have to spend time and resources defending that position is already victory for Donald Trump.
The only way for Democrats to win in November is to make the campaign a referendum on Trump – his incompetence, his lies, his corruption, his moral bankruptcy.
Bernie Sanders’ past comments – and now his fresh comments about Castro – along with his self-given socialist label will guarantee that Democrats up and down the ticket will have to play unnecessary defense if he’s the nominee.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.