2020 presidential candidates squabbled over former President Barack Obama’s compliments of Cuban education Tuesday night at a Democratic debate.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden sparred over remarks Obama made in 2016 regarding Cuban education.
“Every child in Cuba gets a basic education,” Obama said in 2016. “Life expectancy of Cubans is equivalent to that in the United States because they have access to health care.”
Sanders said: “I have opposed authoritarianism all over the world.”
“Of course you have a dictatorship in Cuba. What I said is what Barack Obama said in terms of Cuba, that Cuba made progress on education,” he added.
His words were met with boos from the audience.
“Really? Really?” Sanders questioned the audience, adding:
What Barack Obama said is they made great progress on education and health care. That was Barack Obama. Occasionally it might be good idea to be honest about American foreign policy and that includes the fact that America has overthrown governments all over the world, in Chile, in Guatemala, in Iran, and when dictatorships, whether it is the Chinese or the Cubans, do something good, you acknowledge that.
“But you don’t have to trade love letters with them,” Sanders added.
Biden chimed in to defend Obama from Sanders’s assertions. (RELATED: ‘Kill It’: Warren Hits Bloomberg For Allegedly Telling Employee To Get Abortion)
“Barack Obama was abroad. He was in a town meeting,” Biden said. “He did not in any way suggest there was anything positive about the Cuban government.”
“He acknowledged they did increase life expectancy, but he went on and condemned the dictatorship,” he continued.
“He went on to condemn the people who had run that committee,” Biden added. “The fact of the matter is he did not, has never embraced an authoritarian regime and does not now.”
“This man said he did not condemn what they did,” the former vice president added, referring to Sanders.
Sanders responded: “That is untrue, categorically untrue. I have condemned authoritarianism.”
“That’s different than saying the governments occasionally do thing that is are good,” the senator said.
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