Friction within the Democrat Party was fully visible on Fox News airwaves Tuesday afternoon, when Democratic National Committee (DNC) spokeswoman Xochitl Hinojosa hit the party’s potential presidential nominee and open socialist Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) for repeatedly defending murderous Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.
Speaking to Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer, Hinojosa rejected Sanders’ flattering comments about Castro and suggested the senator and other Democrats running for POTUS visit folks in Florida who fled the brutal dictator.
“I’ll let Bernie Sanders speak for his comments, but we are very clear in the Democratic Party that we speak out against brutal dictatorships like those of [Fidel] Castro, and we support the people of Cuba, fleeing Cuba under that dictatorship,” Hinojosa said, according to National Review.
“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,” the DNC spokeswoman continued. “And that is what is part of this primary: you need to go and appeal to a broad coalition of people.”
“We are very clear in the Democratic party that we speak out against brutal dictatorships like Castro,” Hinojosa underscored.
During a “60 Minutes” interview on Sunday, Sanders said Castro wasn’t all bad, praising the leader’s “literacy program,” which many have pointed out was actually an indoctrination program.
“We’re very opposed to the authoritarian nature of Cuba but you know, it’s unfair to simply say everything is bad. You know?” the socialist told CNN anchor and “60 Minutes” host Anderson Cooper, according to CBS News. “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?”
The troubling remarks were met with wide condemnation from the Right, and even some Democrats publicly hit Sanders. For example, Democratic Florida Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell called the presidential candidate’s defense of Castro “absolutely unacceptable.”
“As the first South American immigrant member of Congress who proudly represents thousands of Cuban Americans, I find Senator Bernie Sanders’ comments on Castro’s Cuba absolutely unacceptable,” blasted Rep. Mucarsel-Powell, who is of South American descent, via Twitter on Monday.
“The Castro regime murdered and jailed dissidents, and caused unspeakable harm to too many South Florida families,” the Democrat continued. “To this day, it remains an authoritarian regime that oppresses its people, subverts the free press, and stifles a free society.”
The Castro regime murdered and jailed dissidents, and caused unspeakable harm to too many South Florida families. To this day, it remains an authoritarian regime that oppresses its people, subverts the free press, and stifles a free society.
— Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (@DebbieforFL) February 24, 2020
This is not the first time Hinojosa has had to handle Sanders’ extremism on Fox airwaves. Earlier in the month, the DNC spokeswoman claimed Sanders would change his platform and run as a “Democrat” because he signed a piece of paper earlier in the primary.
It was news with heat today with @HarrisFaulkner pressing @XochitlHinojosa after she said Democrat frontrunner @BernieSanders signed a document with the @TheDemocrats . Would Bernie Sanders actually drop his socialist platform? #outnumberedot pic.twitter.com/NLMqZs9mwu
— Outnumbered Overtime (@OutnumberedOT) February 12, 2020
Sanders, who pushes socialist policies, is a millionaire who owns three homes. Cooper gently pressed the candidate over the apparent hypocrisy during the interview. Sanders’ response was that he “pays” his “fair share” in taxes. This defense was far different than the rhetoric Sanders used to villainize millionaires in the years before he became a millionaire himself, as outlined by The Daily Wire.
A DNC spokesperson went on Fox News to throw Bernie Sanders under the bus. pic.twitter.com/c2DVdlDQXF
— jordan (@JordanUhl) February 25, 2020