A disgusted Andrea Mitchell on Thursday decried the "anti-Castro vitriol" coming from Republican presidential candidates in Florida, sneering that they are "pander bears" to the Cuban community. [MP3 audio here .]
Teasing a discussion with Chuck Todd, Mitchell dismissed the GOP contenders: "And as Romney and Gingrich try to outdo each other with their anti-Castro vitriol, appealing to Florida voters, they think, Fidel weighed in today with his view of them." Todd lectured that Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney "ought to be careful, because it doesn't sound believable."
Continuing to show her disdain, Mitchell made a historical comparison: "Well, remember, it was in Florida in '92 that the late Paul Tsongas accused Bill Clinton to be a pander bear, by pandering to the Medicare, Social Security contingent who didn't want any entitlement reform."
She then snapped, "I think we've now reached a new level of pander bears in Florida."
On December 16, 1999 , during the Elian Gonzalez saga, Mitchell proclaimed of Castro: "Without doubt he [Castro] is taking personal control of the case of the six-year-old, even to the point of calling child psychiatrists to ask about the effect of all this on the child's mind. His chief concern: Could the boy readjust to life here?...He seemed old-fashioned, courtly — even paternal."
For more, see a MRC Media Reality Check .
A transcript of the January 26 exchange: