Thursday night’s Democratic presidential primary debate turned into what was described by one candidate as a “food fight” after Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) appeared to call out Joe Biden as too old for the position of the president.
The 38-year-old Swalwell recalled being six years old when he went to see a presidential candidate speak. He recalled this presidential candidate saying, “it’s time to pass the torch to a new generation of Americans.”
Swalwell then gave his drop the mic moment when he said, “That candidate was then-Senator Joe Biden. Joe Biden was right when he said it was time to pass the torch to a new generation of Americans 32 years ago. He’s still right today.”
The audience exploded into a mix of cheers and boos at Swalwell calling out Biden for being 76 years old.
Given the chance to respond, Biden said, “I’m still holding onto that torch.”
After Biden broke down his policies for a bit, the rest of the candidates broke into infighting. South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg said he should speak about age since he is the “youngest guy onstage” — the mayor is 37 years old — while the 77-year-old Bernie Sanders said that the issues being discussed are “not generational.”
As things continued to descend into chaos, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) brought everyone else to silence by saying, “Hey, guys, America does not want to witness a foodfight. They want to know how we are going to put food on their tables.”
It was only a matter of time before age became an issue in the Democratic race and that’s mainly due to the massive age difference in some of the candidates. Buttigieg and Swalwell are not even 40 years old, while Biden and Sanders are both pushing 80.
The full list of candidates at Thursday night’s debate is as follows: Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), John Hickenlooper, Eric Swalwell (D-CA), Marianne Williamson, and Andrew Yang.
Though only 10 candidates participated in the event, there are a total of 25 people working to get their party’s nomination to run for the presidency.
The Democratic National Committee and NBC News split 20 chosen candidates out of the 25 into two groups.
The 10 picked to debate on Wednesday were Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Beto O’Rourke, Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Julián Castro, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Tim Ryan (D-OH), John Delaney and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI).
That debate was plenty embarrassing with some distracting technical issues and multiple candidates breaking into Spanish in obvious attempts to pander.
MSNBC faced some allegations of bias since Thursday night’s debate contained more front runners like Biden and Sanders while Wednesday night’s debate included only one candidate polling in the top five: Warren.
Many, including Gabbard’s sister, accused the network of giving Warren more favorable treatment and airtime than the other candidates on the stage.
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