“I absolutely would have not put that statement out and I will tell you that, after talking to my colleagues who represent the state of Florida [and] raised those concerns with me, lesson learned”
Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA) is on the short list of possible running mates for Joe Biden but her chances are fading fast. In the recent past, Bass has made controversial statements about the Castro regime in Cuba, which she tried to reverse on Sunday.
She was asked about her statements on Meet the Press.
Transcript via NBC News:
Let me turn to the issue of Cuba. A lot of people have turned to this issue with you as they’ve dug in. You spent some time there in the ’70s as a young activist, I believe working with a group called the Venceremos Brigade, building houses in Cuba. You have rejected the idea that you were somehow celebrating the Castro regime. But looking back — do you look back on that and think you were a big naïve?
REP. KAREN BASS:
Oh, I think as any 19 year old would be, sure. In my early twenties, I went to Cuba to help the Cuban people, to build houses. But over the last 20 years, Chuck, I have been working — one, I’ve always believed in bridging the divide between our two countries. Cuba’s 90 miles away. But for the last 20 years, I’ve actually been working on health care related issues in Cuba. You know, the Cubans train U.S. doctors. And I’ve been recruiting those doctors to work in the inner city because they come in tuition free. The Cubans also have two medicines, one for diabetes, of which my mother died for, lung cancer, which my father died for, and I would like to have those drugs tested in the United States.
Now, that doesn’t excuse the fact that I know the Castro regime has been a brutal regime to its people. I know that there is not freedom of press, freedom of association. And interestingly, when I went in my late teens and early twenties, you know, one of the things that — one of the reasons was to build relations with the Americans that were there, because there were over 100 young people that were there. And all of us worked on different issues. Well, what’s interesting is that we had the ability to come home and protest against our own government. But the Cuban people most certainly cannot do that. They couldn’t do it then and they can’t do it now.
See the video below:
Bass: I 'don’t consider myself a Castro sympathizer' pic.twitter.com/Lnpg5WfgRs
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) August 2, 2020
She was asked again on FOX News Sunday.
Via Ronn Blitzer of FOX News:
Bass was at the center of a recent controversy over flattering words that she offered for Fidel Castro upon the former Cuban leader’s passing in 2016.
“The passing of the Comandante en Jefe is a great loss to the people of Cuba,” Bass said in a statement at the time. Now, however, she regrets those words, and said that she learned from speaking to Floridians who have a closer connection to Cuba.
“I absolutely would have not put that statement out and I will tell you that, after talking to my colleagues who represent the state of Florida [and] raised those concerns with me, lesson learned; would not do that again for sure.
Here’s the video:
Potential Biden VP pick Karen Bass asked about her past remarks about Castro.
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) August 2, 2020
In 2010, Karen Bass appeared at an event for the Church of Scientology, an organization which has been accused of human rights violations, and of being a cult.
The actress Leah Remini, who is a former Scientologist and outspoken critic of the organization, chastised Bass.
Joseph A. Wulfsohn of FOX News reports:
Leah Remini calls out Karen Bass for past praise of Scientology: Victims ‘deserve better from you’
Actress Leah Remini called out Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., for her past praise of Scientology.
Bass, who is on Joe Biden’s VP short list, faced backlash after a 2010 video surfaced featuring the congresswoman speaking at the Church of Scientology, an organization that’s been accused by some former members of behaving like a cult.
“The Church of Scientology I know has made a difference, because your creed is a universal creed and one that speaks to all people everywhere,” Bass said in the video obtained by the Daily Caller.
“The words are exciting of your founder, L. Ron Hubbard, in The Creed of the Church of Scientology: that all people of whatever race, color or creed, are created with equal rights,” she said.
Remini, a former Scientologist who has been an outspoken critic of the organization, ripped the congresswoman on Instagram.
“’My views have not changed’ says @repkaren bass- I too supported this criminal cult of Scientology at one time,” Remini began on Sunday. “But most of us believed we had no option to do our research for fear of being punished for looking — just as it is in Scientology today. I was raised in it from childhood. What is the excuse for those never in who lend their voice to this criminal cult? Are you denouncing Scientology or are you saying you still think this cult deserves your support? Great that you attempted to distance yourself from this cult now, but is your current stance on Scientology that it is a religion?”
Here’s the video of her 2010 remarks:
Karen Bass in 2010 at a ribbon-cutting for a Scientology church:
"That is why the words are exciting of your Founder L. Rob Hubbard…The Church of Scientology I know has made a difference, because your creed is a universal creed and one that speaks to all people everywhere" pic.twitter.com/EghkCwqHi6
— Alex Thompson (@AlexThomp) July 31, 2020
It’s probably safe to assume at this point that Bass is not going to be the one.
UPDATE: This certainly doesn’t help:
Video: Potential Biden Vice Presidential pick @RepKarenBass bashes the founding fathers.
“I have a hard time when I go to the nation’s Capital and people want to talk about the founding fathers, I’m sorry but that’s not how I view those guys.” pic.twitter.com/47QhFmDY79
— Reagan Battalion (@ReaganBattalion) August 4, 2020
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