“I’ve taken on the Castros of the world … I haven’t cozied up to them.” NARRATOR: Joe Biden and Barack Obama literally cozied up to the Castros. One of the finalists on Biden’s list of running mates, Karen Bass, has spent her life as an apologist for the Castros, and actively worked to promote Castroism. Both Biden and his eventual running mate, Kamala Harris, want to go back to the policy of cozying up to the Castros, in fact.

Maybe we’re supposed to take Biden seriously but not literally?

GONZALEZ: I was born in Hartford, Connecticut. I was raised in Hialeah, Florida. And I have been living in Coral Gables for the last 20-plus years. Cuban-American and Venezuelan voters here in South Florida are being targeted with messages by the Trump campaign claiming that a vote for Joe Biden is a vote for the radical left and socialism and even communism. What can you tell people in my family, my friends who are understandably concerned with that issue that would make them feel comfortable voting for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris?

HOLT: And let me — let me just point out, we only have three or four minutes left.

BIDEN: I look like a socialist? Look, I’m the guy that ran against a socialist. Remember, I got in trouble with the whole campaign, 20-some candidates? Joe Biden was too centrist, too moderate, too straightforward. That was Joe Biden. I have taken on the very people that, in fact, we’re worried about. I have taken on the Castros of the world. I have taken on the Putins of the world. I have taken on all these dictators. I haven’t cozied up to them.  I’m the guy that’s been straightforward with them. I’m the guy that let them know, it stops here. It stops with me. It stops with me as president. I am no more a socialist than — or a communist than Donald Trump is — well, I won’t say it. Anyway, so they need not worry. Just look at the record. There’s not one single syllable that I have ever said that could lead you to believe that I was a socialist or a communist.

Oddly enough, NBC News’ Lester Holt never bothered to follow up on this in their town-hall forum with Biden. Nor did Holt ever — not once — ask about court-packing, even though Biden himself brought up Supreme Court nominations:

BIDEN: Last point, for example, they said, “Joe, what are you going to do if you get to pick, you know, the next Supreme Court justice?” It says advise and consent. You need the Senate to give advice and consent. Every president who has pulled us together has said, this is what I’m thinking of, and gone to Republican senators and Democratic senators and said, what do you think? You put together amendment (ph) — you put together coalitions. That’s how you deal in a democracy.

Why not follow up either question? Because NBC basically gave Biden a free hour as a campaign “infomercial,” as Politico’s Florida reporter Marc Caputo concluded:

The socialist issue goes further than Biden’s flat-out fibbing about standing up to the Castros. Despite Biden’s debate claim, “I am the party,” it’s become clear that Democrats have rushed to embrace Bernie Sanders’ socialist agenda. Biden may have won the nomination, but he only did so after kissing Bernie’s ring. Adding Harris as a running mate solidified the progressive wing’s hold on Biden, and many wonder whether Biden will end up a figurehead or less once he wins the election. Even without that issue, though, Biden’s always been a will-o-the-wisp, politically speaking. He doesn’t have any ideology other than What Benefits Biden At the Moment — and what will benefit Biden if he’s elected? It’s almost certainly going to be giving the socialists free rein in a Biden administration.