MSNBC host Joe Scarborough tore into leading Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (VT) on Wednesday for his praising of Fidel Castro's regime for helping improve the country's literacy rate, with his most recent defense of the comments occurring at Tuesday's debate in South Carolina.
Sanders pointed to how former President Barack Obama made similar remarks about Castro's government.
"Cuba is a dictatorship. I've said that 8 million times, but that does not mean to say, as Obama pointed out, even under a dictatorship, you can teach people to read and write and to provide health care to all people," Bernie said after the debate.
"Cuba is a dictatorship. I've said that 8 million times, but that does not mean to say, as Obama pointed out, even under a dictatorship, you can teach people to read and write and to provide health care to all people," Bernie said after the #DemDebate pic.twitter.com/ju1dxOwoLn— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) February 26, 2020
"The problem is, though, he has — he has affinity and you look at the tapes he has affinity for these communist dictatorships. He could find a lot of countries to praise. He could've found a lot of Scandinavian countries to praise. I’m sorry to sound self-interested here, but, I mean, if you’re talking about sending doctors around the world, nobody has saved more lives, nobody has fed more people, nobody has freed more of humanity than this United States of America, with all its flaws," Scarborough explained.
"So you really have to reach to literacy programs for Fidel Castro who kills people because they mimeograph newspapers and try to send them out or have a little freedom of the press or kills people because they’re not the right type of Christians, throw them in jail and keep them there. Just it’s seriously — it’s along the lines of saying that Mussolini made the trains run on time," Scarborough said in disbelief.
Sanders' repeated defense of parts of the regime has since been denounced by both Republicans and Democrats, particularly from politicians in Florida.