Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-Vt.) recent comments about the late Cuban leader Fidel Castro are brewing up a storm among Florida lawmakers, especially in the Democratic Party.
During a 60 Minutes interview Sunday evening on CBS, Sanders argued it was unfair to malign every aspect of Castro's regime, praising the country's literacy program. He condemned its authoritarian nature, but despite that clarification, Sanders' comments were enough to cause a backlash in Florida, which is home to a large Cuban-American population, including refugees from the Castro era. Some Democratic lawmakers even went so far as to say that if Sanders is the Democratic nominee, it could hand Florida, a crucial and often controversial swing state in presidential elections, to President Trump in November.
Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.) said the comments will likely "alienate" Florida voters, and Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-Fla.) said his words were "unacceptable."
Hard to overstate how poor a fit Sanders would be for FL in November. Freshman Dem who flipped a heavily Cuban GOP seat in 2018: https://t.co/bM89ugQEPx
— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) February 24, 2020
Another Florida Dem (and Bloomberg supporter) speaks out against Sanders' Castro comments https://t.co/LixQk8fHhD
— Josh Kraushaar (@HotlineJosh) February 24, 2020
Meanwhile, State Rep. Javier Fernandez (D) said the 60 Minutes interview is a "perfect illustration as to why" Sanders is the Democratic presidential candidate "least capable" of winning Florida and that "our country and party deserve better."
More stories from theweek.com
CDC warns Americans to prepare for coronavirus outbreak
White House's rosy coronavirus comments are the exact opposite of what career health officials are saying
Elizabeth Warren says Kamala Harris and Kirsten Gillibrand regularly check in on her