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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  February 25, 2020 8:00am-8:17am PST

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amy: this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez.
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juan: we turn now to the 2020 democratic presidential race, where senator bernie sanders' campaign continues to ride the wave of its decisive victory saturday in the democratic presidential caucuses in nevada. sanders' win came with support from young voters, union members and latinx voters who strengthened his status as democratic presidential front runner. sanders won 73% of the latino vote in nevada, a remarkable victory that supporters hope will bode well heading into super tuesday and races in california, colorado, and texas -- where there are large latino populations. this is sanders addressing supporters on sunday in houston. >> and the reason we are going is thatt trump americans, regardless of their political views, are sick and tired of a president who lies all the time. [cheers]
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trump comevery day, is busy demonizing the undocumented. just hates the undocumented. but when he was a private businessman, he loved the undocumented. he hired hundreds of them in his resorts so that he could exploit them and pay them low wages. amy: that is senator sanders speaking in texas. through march 17, the democratic primary calendar will run through seven of the 12 states where latinos constitute at least 10% of the total eligible voting population. four -- well, for more, we are joined now from washington, d.c., by the architect of sanders' stunning success in nevada, campaign senior adviser chuck rocha. political strategist, a self-described "tex/mex redneck" and founder of solidarity strategies -- the largest latino-owned and operated political consulting firm in the
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country. welcome to democracy now! talk about the significance of the wind in nevada, what you did on the ground, and this whole issue of investing in organizing. actual organizers respected in the community. think chuck rocha was not able to hear that question. him for the moment. we're going to try to get him back. chuck, can you hear me now? >> yes ,ma'am. >> i was just asking you about the significance of your win, senator sanders' win with the majority of latinx voters going with senator sanders. you had the culinary voters i think and seven of the eight or
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six of the seven major casinos come up with thousands of service workers. the rank-and-file block the leadership in supporting senator sanders, but the strategy of actually investing in and paying organizers on the ground that are respected in the community, recognized as the leaders in the community. a big key to the success. it will be a big key in moving to south carolina and other places. we did things differently than what most campaigns have been done. i've bn organing and doing campaigns for years. senator sanders velocy is getting new people to participate in our democracy. green pastor because when the caucus, of a small group of people who participate in nevada, 100,000 latinos had voted -- register to vote. a lot of folks were there. a lot of these culinary workers who are working class folks were trying to make a living who really resonate with bernie
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sanders and our message, so we went strategically in their early, eight months out, spent money in the community. we hired that community and treated that community with priority. that sounds like it is something that should normally be done in every campaign, but it is just not done in the latino campaigns. it is never done on a latino campaign. it is not done in diverse communities at all. democrats show up in the last minute and they will go to black churches, set of taco trucks in fron of an early vote location and think that is latino or diverse outreach program. we did it completely different. juan: what was different about your approh? >> i will tell you the backbone of it is we don't have a latino outreach group. because we have had people of color at the senior level of this campaign since day 1 -- i have been there since day one -- we have integrated people into every program we do. one thing i've seen, which is a big mistake, is they will silo
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off the african-american outreach, silo off the latinos, give them no budget or power. they will use them as window dressings and then never really understand what is going on holistically with all of the campaign. with this campaign, we did it different and made it a central theme of everything we were doing so everyone was talking to each other. we made a part of the overall field apparatus. in nevada alone, the person running the entire field was a bilingual woman. everything we did filter through a lens of cultural competency. not only were we there early and spending a lot of money come our products were better because they were made and delivered by people from the community. juan: there was a "new york times" article that came out today that said so far in the -- primary primaries states, that the turnout that senator sanders was predicting a historic turnout that will come in this election, that the
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turnout has not been really up to the level of what the campaign was expecting. yes, the senator has won increasing number of votes, but so far no evidence there's been a significant expansion of the electorate. i'm wondering your response to that? >> i would take exception to that. i was on the ground in iowa and nevada. it may not have been amongst everyone, but in the places where we double down to go the electorate, i would dry your attention to collis campus -- college campuses. your to satellite caucuses in nevada where we had the first spanish-language satellite caucuses ever. and that you had like 500 people show up to these caucuses. we won 98% of these folks. these are new people coming into the system because of bernie sanders and the work you've done. that is the kind of strategy you have to have to beat donald trump in the fall. amy: we are moving into --
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there's a debate tonight and then there is the primary in south carolina. thetor sanders did not win african-american vote in nevada. it is much smaller. biden took that. as for south carolina, biden does seem to be pulling ahead in his vote count is -- in the african-american community is being eaten into by tom steyer and senator sanders. what is the strategy for senator sanders in south carolina? >> i am so happy you asked that question. i am super proud of what we have built down there. we have had people on the ground longer than any other campaign and taken the same philosophy we have in nevada. you can see what our results are. our staff in south carolina is over 80% african-american and over 80% from south carolina. we have had the most staff on the ground since any campaign. very first time we paid to advertise to voters in south carolina, it was to
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african-americans. we've also had a robust bilingual program to latinos in south carolina. philosophy is organizing on the ground with all of the air cover to protect you and turning out this diverse electorate by showing them respect and showing up more early that any other campaign ever has. you have seen the results and the fruit of our labor in nevada, and we've certain that will happen in south carolina. juan: chuck rocha, your reaction or response to the entry into the race of michael bloomberg, the enormous amount of money he is spinning on airtime and his percentage in the polls and obviously polls have to be taken with a grain of salt until people vote, but has continued to increase as a result of this saturation advertising. your strategy for dealing with the bloomberg juggernaut? i have been doing this a long time. i have not had much else in my life other than organize and do campaign so i base everything off of normally mistakes i've
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made in e pastorcing oer folkmake. i have no y to reay undetand h this fld of moy i reay going affect the ovall elecrate. weill take head-on we he a lot people. hean gout anduy all o the thin he needto fd you cannotake up t time tt we have beespendingn these areas. whate d'know andhen i think isisgustin a politic is a of this moy being le to buyour way to this ce. people s, oh, chk, or speing mone we are getting that money $5 had a time from teachers, plumbers, union workers. that is what makes us different. we feel like we are party of the people. it is proper me is around men does every time latinos give us many, i am reinvesting that into our community. into this bloomberg race. we feel it is good to distinguish between what he stands for and senator sanders, but we don't know what kind of impact all of that money is going to have down the road.
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amy: i want to ask you about the media's increasing emphasis on senator sanders' views on castro. it happened on sunday night on "60 minutes" and on monday night at cnn town hall. this is senator sanders saying he opposed the authoritarian nature around the castro regime but lauded cuba's literacy program, reiterating his comments last night on cnn. >> they went out and they help people learn to read and write. you know what? i think teaching people to read and write is a good thing. i have been extremely consistent and critical of all authoritarian regimes all over the world, including cuba, including nicaragua, including saudi arabia, including china, including russia. i happen to believe in democracy, not authoritarianism. amy: chuck rocha, can you talk
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about the media's emphasis on this? president obama normalize relations with cuba before trump was pulling that back. and then the media going on to say he is clearly going to lose florida because he is talking about castro -- which the media is asking him about. >> it is -- i laugh because it is the media -- what bernie sanders that is the same thing barack obama said just a few years ago. the reason i love working for bernie sanders is not he is always -- a, he is always stood for working folks. he has been steadfast for regular folks. b, he always says exactly what is on his mind and from a very honest place. he just said "i am against all authoritarian states" listed every single one of them. because he says one positive thing about putting people's education and the things that went on down there -- if it right into that perfect little angle the democratic consultants and folks in south florida come exactly what you want to hear, it is just showing he is in
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first place, that we are bringing lots of people in, that the democratic on corporate media folks are nervous about bernie sanders. you just heard me say in the first 10 minutes of this interview that we are doing things different by empowering people. that puts a lot of risk at a group of elite folks who have been in power in this party for a long time. when he doesn't fit in that box, their here is on fire. are from texas, and texas has been known, at least for 40 or 50 years, as republican state in terms of presidential races. could you talk about what is happening in texas, the demographic changes, and what the future looks like in texas? >> i am one of the few political consultants who actuallyorked in texas and old enough to remember because i was paid to work in a race for ann richards when democrats still won statewide. the state has gone through lots of transformations and has come red.
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this demography, this whole growth of latinos in the state. what you have been the difference between them and california, there's been a direct investment in california to register educate, internet latinos. kind has never been that of investment into texas. that is why you saw someone like bush, who when he ran for governor, got 44% of the latino vote. i have lived there and studied this, but what is happening is the growth is so exponential and getting there so fast -- guess what? young folks, young black and brown kids, young kids overall, they are not scared to buck the system and they feel like there should be a real change. guess who speaks to that real change was running for president? bernie sanders. just this last week and in texas, we brought up 28,000 people inexas for bnie sanders. there's something special going on because i have told you what we have done in nevada. can you imagine scaling that up in texas and investing in the community, empowering the
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community and is spending money talking to latinos who have never been talked to? we will take a chance in texas and i think latinos are going to deliver bernie sanders. amy: chuck rocha, thank you for being with us, senior advisor to bernie sanders campaign. tune in next tuesday night for democracy now!'s super tuesday live special broadcast. we will be doing it jointly with the intercept from 7:00 eastern standard time to midnight right here at and on many stations around the country. democracy now! is currently accepting applications for a development manager position and our news production fellowship and his producer, all here in new york city. learn more and apply at democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]
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