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Miami Beach mayor predicts Bernie Sanders revolution won’t end well for voters

Make no doubt about it, Hillary Clinton wants to perform well in Tuesday’s first-in-the-nation Democratic primary, where she made up ground in the polls in recent weeks against Bernie Sanders.

Numerous Democrats from across the country have flocked to the Granite State in recent days to help turn out Clinton supporters on Tuesday. One of them is Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, re-elected for a second two-year term in November. He helped voter turnout efforts Sunday and Monday for the former secretary of state, whom he says has made an “amazing” comeback in  polls.

“She is competing, she is fighting, she’s going from town to town, and I think that’s very indicative of her personality,” he said in Manchester on Monday. “She is a fighter, she’ll fight for the American people, and you cannot keep her down – whether it was during that 11-hour Benghazi hearing, and you’re seeing it in a snowstorm in New Hampshire.”

Levine said Sanders is espousing a socialist revolution, which he says never ends well.

“We’ve seen it in Cuba, we’ve seen it in Venezuela, we’ve seen it in Nicaragua. So, social revolutions don’t usually turn out so well.  As a matter of fact, everybody whose gone through them is pretty much living in Miami now.”

As to the large support that Sanders is getting over Clinton with younger voters, Levine says it’s part of an unrealistic message that the Vermont senator is selling, which he says is essentially offering everything for free.

“Free education, free health care, let’s destroy Wall Street. Let’s have the middle class pay for all of these free things,” Levine said. “I mean, I understand now. Senator Sanders is going to be offering free Uber, free Netflix, free Starbucks, after everything else. That’s part of an unrealistic message.”

Levine was recently featured in a Vanity Fair article regarding his efforts to combat sea level rise in Miami Beach. On that issue of climate change, Levine calls Florida’s junior senator running for president, “Marco Polo.”

“Because he’s nowhere to be found and is just wandering all over the place,” Levine cracks. At the same time, he’s effusive in giving credit to Florida’s senior senator, Bill Nelson, for his actions. “He’s been incredibly proactive,” he says. “He’s been all over the issue. He’s held hearings in Miami Beach about climate change and sea level rise, and Senator Rubio has done nothing. Literally nothing.”

Mayor Levine is scheduled to return home to Miami Beach from New Hampshire on Tuesday, weather permitting.

Written By

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served five years as political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. Mitch also was assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley and is a San Francisco native who has lived in Tampa since 2000. Mitch can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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