He’s an unrepentant self-described “Socialist Democrat” who was cheated out of the Democratic presidential primary election in 2016 and is the current frontrunner in the 2020 presidential sweepstakes, but does Sen. Bernie Sanders speak for the majority of Americans?
The answer is probably not.
To win the presidency, Sanders must-win Florida, which will prove to be a heavy, almost impossible lift after a video released of him praising Cuba’s Communist Dictator Fidel Castro.
What’s worse for Sanders is that he doubled down on his support for Castro’s polices Sunday night on CBS’ 60 Minutes, defending Cuba’s former strongman and murderer by saying that it was unfair to say that everything he did was.
Bernie Sanders defends his 1980s comments about Fidel Castro in an interview on 60 Minutes. https://t.co/ySqvQKoiBU pic.twitter.com/lTwuXWp9sA
— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) February 24, 2020
"We're very opposed to the authoritarian nature of Cuba but you know, it's unfair to simply say everything is bad. You know? 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?" Sanders told Anderson Cooper.
Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R), whose family escaped Cuba, says Sanders was wrong in asserting that the Cuban people did not overthrow Castro because “he educated their kids, gave them health care.”
“Likely Dem nominee praised the supposed “achievements” Castro regime And he’s wrong about why people didn’t overthrow Castro,” stated Rubio “It’s not because “he educated their kids, gave them health care” it‘s because his opponents were jailed, murdered or exiled.”
Freshman Congresswoman Donna Shalala (D) also took issue with Sanders' pro-Cuba remarks, tweeting that she hoped that "in the future, Senator Sanders will take time to speak to some of my constituents before he decides to sing the praises of a murderous tyrant like Fidel Castro."
To win Florida, Sanders will need to convince many Cuban-American, Venezuelans, and pro-Venezuelan/anti-Maduro Latin Americans to win the state.
Unfortunately for Sanders, by supporting Castro and pressing a socialist agenda, this chance of winning over this highly coveted voter bloc in South Florida is all-but lost.