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Voto Latino Warns Democrats: If Sanders is Nominee, Kiss Florida Goodbye

By Michael W. Chapman | February 24, 2020 | 3:40pm EST
(YouTube screenshot.)
Maria Teresa Kumar. (YouTube screenshot.)

Maria Teresa Kumar, president of the liberal group Voto Latino, said on Sunday that if Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a self-described socialist, is the Democratic presidential nominee, "you can kiss Florida goodbye" because there are many Latinos there who have fled socialism and reject Sanders's Marxist policies. 

On MSNBC's AM Joy, host Joy Reid said, "Michael Bloomberg, who used to be a Republican until about five minutes ago, previewed it by using the word 'communism' to talk about Bernie Sanders. What happens then?"

Maria Teresa Kumar replied, "That's the challenge. All I can think about when David [Corn] was unpacking it for us, we can all agree is that you can kiss Florida goodbye."


"I say that, Floridians -- Latinos that have fled socialism, they have fled and they are in Florida, and they have these types of sensibilities that are very different from the rest of the Latino community," said Kumar. 

“You pare that down with a lot of the more conservative folks that are Democrats in Florida and I don’t see a pathway for him there,” she said.  “That’s just the beginning."

Democratic presidential hopeful Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders gestures as he speaks during a rally at Valley High School in Santa Ana, California, February 21, 2020. (Photo by RINGO CHIU/AFP via Getty Images)
Democratic presidential hopeful Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders gestures as he speaks during a rally at Valley High School in Santa Ana, California, February 21, 2020. (Photo by RINGO CHIU/AFP via Getty Images)

"I can tell you right now Donald Trump has been targeting folks on my staff since March of last year with an anti-democratic socialist message in Spanglish, English and Spanish," said Kumar. "They are not leaving anybody behind. Again, people don’t realize there’s a socialization happening on the Trump campaign that’s been very effective."

She continued, "Then you understand the population of someone like a Floridian voter and, you know that, vying for Florida, he’s [Sanders]  going to figure out, if I don’t have Florida -- I’m almost 125,000 percent confident he would not get it -- where is the pathway [to victory]?”

Then-Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez, left, speaks with then-Cuban dictator Fidel Castro at the Havana international airport, Nov. 15, 1999.  (Getty Images)
Then-Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez, left, speaks with then-Cuban dictator Fidel Castro at the Havana international airport, Nov. 15, 1999. (Getty Images)

Among Latinos, there are about 1.2 million Cubans in Florida, roughly half of whom fled from the Communist dictatorship in Cuba. Cubans comprise about 32% of the Latino vote in Florida. 

Although Cubans make up the largest number of Hispanics in Florida, there are many Latinos from Mexico, Nicaragua, Columbia, Venezuela and Puerto Rico living in Florida. 


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