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Bill Clinton: "I'm not sure there are 81 communists left in Cuba."

Former President Bill Clinton campaigned today for Democrat Patrick Murphy and mocked Republican Congressman Allen West in the northern fringes of South Florida. But what Clinton said there might not play so well farther south, in Miami-Dade.

At the center of Clinton's shtick: West's comment that there are 81 communist Democrats in the U.S. House. Clinton milked some laughs from the crowd.

"I didn't know there were 81 communists outside of Cuba anywhere in this part of the world," he said, according to a web video making the Republican rounds. "I'm not sure there are 81 communists left in Cuba."

The remarks from the former president, top Obama surrogate and husband of the Secretary of State probably won't sit well with Miami's exile community. But then, it's so strongly opposed to President Obama's ticket that it might not make a political difference.

It's also the political season. Jokes have a tendency to outrage half of the voting population.

But those fleeing Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and those who have fled Cuba probably won't laugh at this regardless of the time of year. Their experience shows that communism's alive in this hemisphere. The discussion is also alive and well in the presidential race, where Mitt Romney attacked Obama in a Spanish-language ad invoking Chavez, Fidel Castro's niece and an EPA Che Guevara snafu (oh, the phrases we write). The Obama campaign responded with a Spanish-language retort ad from former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz, who accused Romney of "exploiting the suffering of our people."

Suffering?

Huh. I thought communism was dead. So what would people be suffering about?

Comments

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Richard Cheeseman

All this shows is that the anti-Communist nutters on the US extreme right with their ludicrous Cuba and Venezuela bashing hyperbole and the moderate rightists like Clinton with their obsolete and risible capitalist triumphalism are equally deranged and out of touch with reality.

Mary Ann

As usual former President Bill Clinton is spouting nothing but political rhetoric and those on the far left are lapping it up. One only has to do a little google research on the Congressional Progressive Caucas and you will see exactly what Congressman Allen West was speaking about.

Ariel Beltran

"Huh. I thought communism was dead. So what would people be suffering about?"

Very cute, Caputo, but obviously it's referring to the suffering of being an exile, which for most of the intended audience took place before recent changes in Cuba.

David S. Levine

Unfortunately Bill Clinton is totally wrong as usual.

There are at least 81 House Democ-rats who can be expected to vote against the interests of the United States on economic, social and foreign policy on any given day when the House is in secession along with plenty of senate Democ-rats. they drove Senator Joseph Lieberman out of the Democ-rat Party when they defeated him in the Democ-rat primary in 2006, just six years after they told us that he'd be the best person to become President in the most difficult of circumstances, the death of a President.

The House Progressive Caucus is the personification of the assertion that every enemy of the United States has a friend in the Democ-rat Party. 54 of them slapped together a letter calling for an end to aid to Israel when Israel defended itself against the rockets fired into Israel from Gaza. This caucus is both pro-Castro Cuba and Chavez Venezuela. They should rename themselves the House Pestilence Caucus in the interests of truth in packaging and it's no accident that they're supporting Allen West's opponent with both money and out of state union thugs who disrupt West rallies and boast about taking down his signs.

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