Sanders’ support for Fidel Castro came up during a 2016 presidential debate when Hillary Clinton questioned him about remarks he made in a 1984 video in which he said, “Everybody was totally convinced that Castro was the worst guy in the world…They forgot that he educated …kids, gave them health care, totally transformed the society.” Although Sanders agreed that Cuba was undemocratic and authoritarian, he seemed to refuse to take back his comments. The 1984 video and his refusal to disavow his comments could be a vulnerability for Sanders in 2020.
In the 1970’s, Sanders called for the abolition of the CIA, reducing the military, and returning to local militias, and the Coast Guard, to defend the homeland. Once in Congress, he called for spending cuts of 50% in the Pentagon’s budget.
Sanders has also made statements that will cause problems with key Democratic constituencies. The allegations of sexual harassment by members of his 2016 campaign team were covered (Sanders said he didn’t know about the allegations during his campaign but apologized), but little attention was paid to an article he wrote in 1969, exploring studies on stress and wondering if there could be a link between what parents taught their daughters about sexual mores and their child’s likelihood of developing breast cancer.