Sanders: I regret nothing in my praise for Fidel's literacy program -- and China's anti-poverty efforts, too

It hardly matters any more, but Bernie Sanders won’t back down from what Bret Baier accurately called a “turning point” in the 2020 Democratic primaries. Appearing on a Fox News town hall last night, Baier asks Sanders whether he regrets going out of his way on a 60 Minutes interview to praise Fidel Castro and his literacy program. “No,” Sanders says, doubling down on the praise for Castro and once again insisting that China has made great strides in reducing inequality and poverty:

Fox News anchor Bret Baier asked Sanders whether he regretted his praise of Castro’s “literacy program” in an interview on 60 Minutes, since it appears those comments hurt him in subsequent primaries. Sanders replied, “No.”

“Look, I have spent my entire life fighting for working people and fighting for democracy,” Sanders said. “If you check my record, I have condemned authoritarianism, whether it is in the Soviet Union, whether it is in Cuba, whether it is in Saudi Arabia.”

Sanders, who has fallen behind former vice president Joe Biden in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, attempted to blame the media for the backlash he received for praising Castro.

“I know it’s hard given ‘gotcha’ questions,” Sanders said. “Given the media that we deal with and everything else, you say something and people can beat up on you. I think you’ve got to tell the truth. So, if in China they’ve reduced extreme poverty, does that make me a communist who supports China? No, I’m just telling you a simple fact.”

Actually, if you can stand up and credit China with reducing poverty without mentioning that they starved 45 million people to death in four years, then it pretty much makes you a communist apologist. Or at the very least, a “useful idiot.”

But of course, we already know that about Sanders. And Sanders knows we know it, too. There’s not much point in attempting to walk these arguments back now; the damage has already been done, and no one’s going to believe that Sanders has had a change of heart on these issues. Sanders is about to complete one of the most embarrassing collapses in presidential-primary history because he couldn’t keep his communist apologias to himself for just a few weeks while victory was in his grasp. Make no mistake — Joe Biden didn’t stage a massive comeback, but instead happened to be the one guy in position to reap the benefits of a party staring in horror at the prospect of handing their nomination to an unreconstructed Marxist fool.

To his credit, Biden’s at least not blowing up his own campaign like Sanders is. Democrats had better be aware, though, that Donald Trump isn’t going to make the same mistake that Bernie is. They’ll need a lot more than luck to win in November, and given that Biden nearly gave the nomination away in the first place to this useful idiot, they should still be worried about their prospects for victory in a general election.