It’s kind of a bad sign that, until the closing minutes of the debate when he gave a confusing answer involving why children should listen to the “record player” to fight racism, Joe Biden’s Thursday night debate performance was considered relatively gaffe-free.
I actually didn’t think it was bad, in fact. I have such low expectations now that I don’t even realize when Biden’s gaffing. It took a record player to realize that, yes, Biden was still a little more Uncle Joe than he was a former vice president.
Take his interaction with Sen. Bernie Sanders. In one of the stumbles that Biden made during the debate, he referred to the Vermont senator as “the president.”
Even Bernie Sanders’ own team tweeted the moment out:
— People for Bernie (@People4Bernie) September 13, 2019
“The president — or my friend from Vermont …” Biden said.
The moment came as the former vice president was going back and forth on “Medicare for all,” Sanders’ signature health care plan.
For the record, Biden did have some decent arguments about this — like how it was all going to be paid for — but once you realize he called Sanders “the president” you really aren’t listening to them.
And, as The Hill pointed out, this came shortly before his run-in with former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julían Castro on Biden’s plan, a back-and-forth during which Castro openly questioned the former veep’s memory.
“The problem with your plan is that it leave 10 million people uncovered,” Castro said.
“The difference between what I support and what you support, Vice President Biden, is that you require them to opt in, and I would not require them to opt in. They would automatically be enrolled.”
“They do not have to buy in,” Biden responded.
“You just said that two minutes ago, you just said two minutes ago that they would have to buy in,” shot back. “Are you forgetting what you said two minutes ago?”
Julian Castro slams Joe Biden over his mental state, suggests that he is already forgetting things that he said 2 minutes ago pic.twitter.com/a85LXsaHbU
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) September 13, 2019
The general feeling from analysts and on Twitter seemed to be that Castro’s remarks were a bit too aggressive. It may not end up helping the foundering candidate, but what he said wasn’t exactly untrue.
And this was hardly the end of the gaffing for Biden, either.
“Nobody should be in jail for a non-violent crime.” – Joe Biden pic.twitter.com/ODufiEWKKm
— Comfortably Smug (@ComfortablySmug) September 13, 2019
“Nobody should be in jail for a non-violent crime.” Yeah, because what we need is Bernie Madoff out on probation.
Don’t get me wrong: Biden’s performance last night was actually the best he had done up until his remarks about record players. He had energy for once.
As I mentioned before, he brought up the issue of how much other candidates’ proposals would cost. There wasn’t a Kamala Harris moment.
However, that’s the problem.
If this is Biden’s best performance, that says a lot about the two previous trainwrecks. Democrats cannot have Biden constantly making these little mistakes, especially when you consider most of the Democrats are being polite about it.
Donald Trump won’t be.
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