More on Fred and Hillary

The American Spectator weighs in on the Fred Thompson Cuban controversy:

by The Prowler
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton was eager, according to campaign aides, to attack former Sen. Fred Thompson for his remarks about Cuba being a state supporter of terrorists. “Our porous border is unable to distinguish between friend and foe. My feeling is that Cuban Americans share this concern,” Thompson said last week.
He further warned that a terrorist-backing Cuba matched with Hugo Chavez’s desire to “go nuclear” in Venezuela would create additional security challenges for the United States.
Comparatively, a sober view, no? Not to Clinton. “Everyone is attacking Fred Thompson right now, because he’s the frontrunner. She wanted to slap him around a little bit, even if there wasn’t anything to slap him around over,” says a campaign aide.
So Clinton went out and said she was shocked that Thompson would lump members of the Cuban diaspora with terrorists, something Thompson did not do.
There’s a reason Clinton attempted to hit Thompson: her own record with Cubans is shoddy at best. Recall, that back during the Elian Gonzalez crisis, she went out and announced that Elian’s seizure — by goons sent in by her husband’s attorney general — ”was accomplished rapidly and without injury.”
“Yeah, we’ve got a problem with that statement and all the pictures of that scared little boy hiding in the closet with all of those automatic weapons in his face,” says the campaign adviser. “When we mentioned this to our policy guys, they didn’t care. We’re at a stage now where we have to attack Thompson, create an image in the public of who we want him to be, and then move on to lesser guys like Romney. It’s Giuliani who we’re not going to be beating up any time soon.”

Now, I don’t think we should give Fred Thompson or any other candidate a free pass, but we also need to be wary of knee jerk reactons to inaccurate campaign sound bites, especially when they come from Hillary.
If any of you are leaning towards forgiving her for past wrongs against the Cuban community, read what Accuracy in Media says about her. Hell will freeze over before I’d vote for her.

32 thoughts on “More on Fred and Hillary”

  1. Ziva,
    Hillary is a known quantity. Her comments in “defense” of Cuban-Americans won’t cause any informed voter to suddenly change his/her mind about her.
    My concern, is with Mr. Thompson’s original statement, and a “clarification” that leaves much to be desired.
    He uses Cuban-Americans as a club to whack liberals when it suits him. But, stand him before an anti-immigrant crowd in South Carolina (where I believe the Confederate Flag still flies over the State Capitol), and he does not hesitate to lump all Cuban “immigrants” together with other “terrorists” sneaking suit case bombs into the country. It was plain old fashioned racist pandering of the worst kind. His attempt to clarify was less than satisfying.
    The problem isn’t Hillary. She won’t get (m)any votes from the Cuban community in South Florida–no matter what she says. The problem is an early and apparently blind “lust” for a media-wise, folksy, conservative candidate who does not appear to care much for “them” Cubans.

  2. Has anyone asked Mrs. Clinton about her 1969 trip to Cuba with the VENCEREMOS BRIGADE? Has she beeb asked about her “special” friendship with the late Vilma la terrorista? Hummmmmmmm I wonder.

  3. Little Gator: His commnents were taken out of context and while I think he should have chosen his words more carefully, I don’t think he was pandering to the anti-immigrant vote. As for Hillary, I personally know a few Cuban-Americans who are willing to give her a pass because they’ve come to hate Bush. It boggles my mind.
    Unless I missed something, this is what Fred was talking about. If there’s more, besides that minute plus out of context video, please send me the link.
    “And no one knows better than that community that the Castro regime remains dedicated to infiltrating American institutions to spread his ideology of tyranny. Castro admitted it himself in an interview with CNN in 1998.
    This is why the Cuban government rightfully remains on the State Department’s terrorist list for its continued support of terrorism. It’s also why we must oppose the illegal immigration of Castro’s agents into the United States while welcoming the vast majority who immigrate legally and with legal intentions.”

  4. I thought that what Fred Thompson said was pretty good. And his unneeded clarification was well written and very, almost overly, kind.
    Cuba IS a state sponser of terrorism.
    Cuban spies HAVE slipped in to the US and infiltrated the exile community and more.
    What Thompson points out is that we as a community are concerned about the potential of spies and terrorists coming into the US through porous borders or by using the wet foot dry foot policy to their advantage. I don’t think that this is inaccurate. Does anyone think that we are not cognizent or concerned?
    If anyone is insulted by his statements than we need to stop lambasting American Muslims for not speaking out against members of their community who wage jihad. If we are to help protect this nation we need to be the first to admit that there could be a problem and then do our damndest to expose those who pose a threat to this nation.
    And if Mr. Thompson wants to use me to whack a liberal he is more than free too. Whack away, Fred! I am happy to put a hurting on a liberal, especially that one. I also have not forgotten what the clinton administration did to that poor boy and his family and the isults they hurled at the Cuban community in America.

  5. Fred Thompson was speaking about illegal immigration. He neatly segued right into “. . .in 2005 we apprehended 1,000 Cubans [wish we’d caught and returned a few more, Fred?] . . . THEY aren’t bringing [greetings]from Castro . . . we live in the era of the suit case bomb.” (If you pay attention, you will hear the derisive snickers from the SC crowd.
    So, according to Fred, Cubans fleeing castro’s prison-Island are all illegal “immigrants” who should be apprehended and sent right back. That is problem number one. Problem number two is the facile association of all these fleeing refugees with suit case bombers. Problem number three is the pandering.
    Fred wasn’t talking about catching terrorists. He was talking about illegal immigration, and using Cubans fleeing castro’s gulag as a prime example of why we must control our borders. THAT is the problem. You guys are overly exited about a TV actor, and are too forgiving of what is, by any measure, a slur and a statement against the interest of our brothers and sisters fleeing the tyrant.

  6. Little Gator, out of respect for you, I’m going to re-listen to the speech when I get home tonight. If I think I’m being soft on him, I’ll take my lumps and plate of crow.

  7. Ziva,
    I appreciate it.
    Now it is my turn to take a (small) step back. I realize I may “come on” a little strong on this. It is because I have reached the point where “Viva Cuba Libre” from politicians just before every election doesn’t just leave me cold. It actually causes great revulsion. I am sick and tired of empty promises and hollow words. By way of example, Clinton instituted the wet-foot-dry-foot doctrine, and the concomitant return of fleeing refugees to castro’s gulag. Bugt, Bush has enforced it far longer than Clinton ever did. He could easily change this, if he wanted. He hasn’t and he won’t. Yet, we are somehow supposed to admire and support this man. I don’t get it.
    Hence, I could not help but react upon witnessing Fred’s duplicity, particularly when he is touted by some as some sort of hero to be admired by the Cuban-American community.
    I’d like to know what you think when you review the admittedly short section of the speech where he makes the comments I find very objectionable.
    Be well.

  8. Does anyone else have a problem with the homophobic views expressed in the American Spectator article about Hillary? I mean, I’m all for Hillary bashing, but at what expense? Just a week or so ago, several pointed out the antisemitic statements of someone on here. Is it OK to be homophobic here? I don’t think bloggers speaking out in favor of human rights should link an article that is hateful in its entirety. Just my honest opinion.

  9. LittleGator,
    I’m always skeptical of ALL politicians, even Thompson. But you have to consider his previous unsolicited statements regarding Cuba and Cuban-Americans. Here’s a guy who technically hasn’t even entered the race yet, and he’s been saying all sorts of sensible things regarding Cuba and Cubans for about the past month or so. If his statement in South Carolina would have been the first time he uttered “Cuba” in public, then I would agree with you.
    However, the guy’s proven to have a deeper understanding of the C-A issues than any other candidate out there so far. This is mainly why we ought to take his SC statement in context, despite the odd way it came out (he definite screwed up his choice of words). If this happens again…then we’ll take it from there.

  10. Everytime Hillary reminds Americans of how her hubbie treated Elian, and reminds Aans of who started the harsh treatment of Cuban exiles, she only buiilds up more negatives. Let her go after Sen. Thompson.
    She is unelectable.
    Obama is the far better liar, and being such an incredible lightweight and reactionary pro-despot lefty, much more dangerous.

  11. If anybody’s still on this thread, feel free to flame away, but I’ll give it to you straight:
    One of the reasons for “wet foot, dry foot” and the fear of another Mariel Boatlift among American politicians comes from an actual history of castro using Cuban immigration to infiltrate spies, saboteurs, terrorists, and gangsters into the United States.
    The overwhelming majority of Cuban immigrants are honest, hard-working folks. However, every time there has been a liberalization of immigration from Cuba, castro has found various ways to make sure Pablo the Serial Killer, Miguel the Capo, and Ana the Spy make it to America, *just happening* to leave no room for y’alls’ relatives.

  12. Fred may have chosen his words improperly but Hillary jumped on it and twisted it even more so that she could use it to make her look like the candidate that “understands” the exiles.
    I wouldn’t give her a free pass to see Sicko.

  13. Hey R S –
    In all fairness, “Ana” is a homegrown “American” soy, albeit Puerto Rican. But I concede there is merit to your post. I believe all Americans want “legal”, controlled immigration. Not mass migrations where sme dictator decides who we let in.

  14. RS-If I’m not mistaken,contrary to “Scarface” only a small percentage of Mariels were in fact criminals.

    Back on topic, Little Gator- As promised, I watched the videos again, in fact several times.
    I still sincerly belive that his heart is in the right place, and that Hillary Inc. is trying to bring down a perceived threat to her power grab. That being said, I am under no illusion as to the motives of politicians when it comes to the juicy and sought after Cuban-American vote. Frankly, I’d rather be wrong on the side of disbelief, than the other way around.
    I’ve emailed “Fred Thompson”, at an address I’m unsure of, the following:
    As you know, Fred Thompson’s recent remarks about Cuban refugees, (not illegal aliens) have sparked a lot of controversy in the Cuban American community. Frankly, those remarks are perceived as insulting, considering the brutal regime from which those refugees are fleeing.
    As a contributing writer at, I’m inviting you to make a statement further clarifying those remarks. Many in our community are hoping that the published accounts of your remarks were inaccurate. As they stand, your seeming equation of Cuban refugees as terrorists is perceived as a slur against Cuban-Americans.
    I discern from your speech, that you are cognizant of the real threat that Cuba and its allies pose to the United States. Please clarify your controversial statement for our readers.
    Thank you, Ziva Sahl, Babalublog
    If I get a response, I’ll post it.
    What do you think?

  15. Love it Ziva. If I were part of the Fred Thompson handlers, I would want to get in front of this right away. It’s getting too much negative spin in the Spanish media down here. I share your views on this.I know Hillary wants to do WHATEVER IT TAKES to do away with those glossy 5X7 someone has of her at with the “Venceremos Brigade”. She’s reported to be cutting sugar cane and wearing a scarf on her head.

  16. Mic- I have no idea what you are talking about. The articles I referenced, unless I am blind or my mind is paying tricks on me, did not mention homosexuality. Please clarify.

  17. Mic- I have to apologize. It was too late, and I was half-asleep when I responded to you. I don’t think one’s sexual preferences, or an individual’s sex life is anyone else’s business. That being said, American’s have a right to know where a candidate’s campaign money comes from, and they certainly have a right to know about a candidate’s morality. I do find the tone of the article somewhat distasteful, but it asks important questions, and I don’t think it’s homophobic.

  18. Are any reporters going to ask Mrs Clinton about her 1969 Cuba Trip as part of the Venceremos Brigade?

  19. Are any reporters going to ask Mrs Clinton about her 1969 Cuba Trip as part of the Venceremos Brigade?

  20. Are any reporters going to ask Mrs Clinton about her 1969 Cuba Trip as part of the Venceremos Brigade?

  21. Never said a majority of the Mariel were criminals, but the ones who were gave the US a crapload of headaches. How many you and I are probably not going to know until the FBI can declassify its counterintelligence files.
    I am aware Ana Belen Montes was in fact Puerto Rican (she had to have never been to Cuba to love it so), but I did want to illustrate the continuing danger Cuban spies can still pose to the US by reminding folks that they picked up Ana in order to make sure she didn’t disclose Afghan war plans to castro in the wake of 9-11.
    Gods willing, soon nobody will have to worry about boatlifts, spies, or the castros—and this whole debate will be a part of history.

  22. Mrs Clinton about her 1969 Cuba Trip as part of the Venceremos Brigade?
    When pigs fly Henry, in another words, not a chance. But a citizen could, say in a town hall meeeting, or some such setting.

  23. Ziva and Henry,
    I’ve seen the rumors about Clinton travelling to Cuba in the 60’s with the Venceremos Brigades. But, I am not aware of any real evidence about this. I even briefly searched the Net recently, and could find nothing solid. What evidence exists?
    And, before I am accused of coming to Clinton’s defense, let me unequivocally [I like that word] state that I am asking for my edification. Not as a challenge to your statements.

  24. Ziva – no problem, I understand the point of linking the article. I just found it hard to get through all of the “hate” manifested by the author. It comes across a little “Hugo Chavez-ish” to me.
    And enquiring minds want to know – did Hillary Cliton travel to Cuba with the Vencermos Brigades! PLEASE someone who knows – that would be very useful information for the American people!

  25. LG,
    As far as I know Hillary’s venceremos Brigade thing is fact. I havent the time, but I received the following from a reader which perhaps some intrepid babalu reader might be able to dig into for facts and confirmation:

    I know from someone who had the photo. That the now Hillary Clinton, appeared in a picture of the Imparcial Spanish newspaper of New York.This picture appeared in late 1959 or in in 1960. She appeared with black pants an a yarey hat. at the time her last name was not Clinton. The person who had this picture, kept it inside a book. With the time it yellowiest and disintegrated. Maybe you can track this down since you are in the media. I am sure that she must have done everything to bury this. The owners of the former Imparcial or someone must know, hopefully.

  26. Val I think she would have been to young then. I´ve read that she was there around 1969 with Emily Harris. There´s a lot written, I haven´t read the book but I heard that Barbara Olsen ties Hillary to Venceremos in ¨Hell to Pay¨ A photo would be a very good find.

  27. The Venceremos Brigades were founded in ’68 or’69. Not sure how that fits into Clinton’s chronology. But,if anyone does find good evidence of her participation, I’d be very interested.

  28. Val, I´ve read 1969, but I´ve also read that a group from the Weather Underground & assoc. went the first year in ’68 and I belive she had ties to them. I can’t prove anything though, it’s all he or she said. If we could get our hands on a photo, intestesting isn’t the half of it. I’ve been looking of and on for quite awhile with no luck at all. I’m pretty sure you’re correct in assuming that she’s worked hard to cover her radical trail. She’s waiting until she has the power before showing her real colors.

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