Aug 01, 2020
Karen Bass, on Biden VP shortlist, scrambles to explain remarks on Castro, Scientology
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Rep. Karen Bass, D-Caif., a contender for presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s running mate, is scrambling to explain past comments praising Fidel Castro and the Church of Scientology.
Bass, who is widely reported to be on Biden’s shortlist, responded Saturday to recently-emerged video that showed her speaking at a Church of Scientology opening in 2010.The organization has been accused of acting like a cult.
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“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.
On Saturday, Bass released a statement noting that she worships at a Baptist church, and says that at the event she “found an area of agreement in their beliefs -- where all people, of whatever race, color, or creed are created with equal rights, which is what my remarks were about.”
“Since then, published first-hand accounts in books, interviews and documentaries have exposed this group. Everyone is now aware of the allegations against Scientology,” she said. “Back in 2010, I attended the event knowing I was going to address a group of people with beliefs very different than my own, and spoke briefly about things I think most of us agree with, and on those things -- respect for different views, equality, and fighting oppression -- my views have not changed.”Video
Bass has also had to tackle her past statements in relation to the Castro regime in Cuba -- something that could potentially hurt a Biden/Bass ticket with the Cuban-American population in the crucial state of Florida.
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Bass traveled to Cuba in 1973 with an organization called the Venceremos Brigade, a joint venture between the regime and left-wing U.S. groups that organized trips for Americans to build homes in the country. During that trip she went to see Castro speak.
In 2016, when Castro died, she referred to him as "commandante en jefe" (commander in chief), and said his passing was a “great loss to the people of Cuba.” Those remarks have been criticized by Democrats in Florida in particular.
“Praise like the one that was given by Bass at the time of Castro’s death is inconsistent with my family’s experience with what the regime did -- and continues to do -- to people on the island, which is to suppress human rights, keep people under a totalitarian thumb and stifle economic growth,” Miami state Rep. Javier Fernandez told Politico in June.
In an article in The Atlantic this week, Basss said she hadn’t fully realized how Cuba and Castro were seen in Florida, as opposed to California.
“If I had to make that statement over again, I wouldn’t use those words,” she said.
She made similar remarks to MSNBC: “I have talked to my colleagues in the House about that, and it’s certainly something that I would not say again. ... I have always supported the Cuban people, and the relationship that Barack Obama and Biden had in their administration in terms of opening up relations.”
In that interview she called the Castro regime "very troubling." She has also claimed that when she visited the communist dictatorship in the '70s she already knew then that it was not the utopia others believed it to be.
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“I didn’t have any illusions that the people in Cuba had the same freedoms I did. I came home and was protesting everything; I knew that the Cuban people didn’t have the ability to do that,” she told The Atlantic.
In regards to reports that members of the Brigade became sources for the Cubans, Bass said she wasn't involved in that either. She has since been back to Cuba a number of times, and when she visited the country in 2016, she tweeted out a picture from her 1973 visit.
Biden has said he will announce his VP pick later this month. Others on the shortlist are believed to include Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., former National Security Adviser Susan Rice, Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.Adam Shaw is a reporter covering U.S. and European politics for Fox News.. He can be reached here.
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Karen proudly doxes herself while being filmed harassing a Hispanic man
A New Jersey woman was recorded berating a Hispanic man who was just trying to take a picture of the sunset with his dogs. And in a refreshing twist on Karen videos, she says her name, address, and gives the recorder permission to post the video online.Hide
Ruben Martinez, the man she berated, filmed the encounter and posted it to social media.Hide
Martinez said he was trying to take a photo of the sunset when the woman began to harass him and ask him to leave the neighborhood. He captioned the video, “I was simply trying to shoot the sunset at 7 Bridges Road when I was met with racism.”
He drove to a dead-end street in Oceanport with his two small dogs. As they were driving down the street, he explained, the dogs began barking at another dog they had seen. He left the dogs in the car to take a picture for what he claims was less than two minutes when the woman approached him and allegedly told him to go back to where he came from.Hide
The woman and Martinez yell over each other at the beginning of the video. She tells Martinez and his “loud dogs” to leave the neighborhood. “They’re small dogs,” he responds.
“I don’t care. They’re disrupting the entire neighborhood,” the woman, who identifies herself as Rita Masterson, shoots back.
Masterson continues her tirade. “Your dogs are aggravating, and you’re aggravating,” she says. “So take your camera, take your selfie stick, take your dogs, and get the f*ck out of here.”Hide
Martinez then asks the woman to identify herself, and she says her name as well as her address. She also gives him permission to post the video to social media. “Absolutely!” Masterson exclaims.More Karen Moments
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