Karen Bass: 'I'm not a socialist, I'm not a communist'

Karen Bass: 'I'm not a socialist, I'm not a communist'
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Rep. Karen BassKaren Ruth BassDemocrats point fingers on whether Capitol rioters had inside help Rep. Bass tweets photo of Trump in response to FBI call for information on rioters San Francisco mayor says Harris replacement pick 'a real blow to the African American community' MORE (D-Calif.), a contender to be presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenKaty Perry and her 'Firework' close out inauguration TV special Arizona Republican's brothers say he is 'at least partially to blame' for Capitol violence Tom Hanks: After years of 'troubling rancor,' Inauguration Day 'is about witnessing the permanence of our American ideal' MORE's running mate, denied being a “communist” or a “socialist” during an interview on Monday.

“I’m not a socialist. I’m not a communist. I’ve belonged to one party my entire life and that’s the Democratic Party, and I’m a Christian,” Bass, the chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, told NBC News.

As Bass’s name has emerged in discussions about Biden's running mate, Republicans have cited her multiple visits to Cuba and now-renounced praise of Fidel Castro after his 2016 death. The issue is particularly contentious in Florida, a must-win state for President TrumpDonald TrumpClinton, Bush, Obama reflect on peaceful transition of power on Biden's Inauguration Day Arizona Republican's brothers say he is 'at least partially to blame' for Capitol violence Biden reverses Trump's freeze on .4 billion in funds MORE where most polling shows him behind Biden.


Bass also told NBC she disagreed with characterizing all Cuban Americans as in lockstep on one issue.

“I don’t believe that it’s right to paint the Latino population with one brush, even the Cuban population,” Bass said. “The Latino population is often painted as only being interested in immigration, and the Black population is painted as only interested in race. I don’t think any of those are true."

She also depicted the scrutiny of her as a sideshow meant to distract from the coronavirus crisis.

“How do [Republicans] explain the death rate in Florida? How do they explain the fact that COVID is completely out of control in the United States?" Bass asked. "How do they explain the fact that the economy dropped to its lowest point in U.S. history? They have nothing to say, so resurrecting the ghost of Joe McCarthy and George Wallace is their best game right now.”

Bass previously addressed the Cuba issue on Sunday, telling NBC’s Chuck ToddCharles (Chuck) David ToddOfficials brace for second Trump impeachment trial House GOP lawmaker: Trump 'put all of our lives at risk' DC mayor says she's concerned about threats to residential neighborhoods MORE she would not express condolences over Castro's death if given the chance to do it again.

The same day, she told Fox News’s Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceChris Wallace: This was best inaugural address I've ever heard Fox News's DC managing editor Bill Sammon to retire Arkansas governor: Intelligence on state capitol protests 'not to the level that I'm bringing out the National Guard' MORE that she understood “an awful lot more now” than she did in the 1970s, and that “the Castro regime did not have the same freedoms we do.”