Presidential candidate Joe Biden was heavily criticized by fellow candidates for his political past and fumbled over defending himself and the Obama administration during the second round of Democratic debates on Thursday.
Several times, the former vice president was confronted about his own record as a senator and while serving alongside former President Barack Obama. He also took heat for some of the Obama administration’s policies and decisions.
Biden squirmed under pressure when asked about his vote in favor of the Iraq War and how voters can trust him after the move didn’t prove to be a success.
“I was responsible for getting 150,000 combat troops out of Iraq,” said Biden, explaining what he had done to fix the situation. “I also think we should not have combat troops in Afghanistan. It’s long overdue, it should end.”
— Charles Davis 🇺🇸 (@CharlesPDavis) June 28, 2019
”I believe you’re not going to find anybody who has pulled together more alliances to deal with what is the real stateless threat out there,” Biden added. “We can not go it alone in terms of dealing with terrorism.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) criticized Biden for his answer, pointing out that he had helped lead opposition and claimed that he would avoid war as much as possible, calling a potential war with Iran “far worse than the disastrous war with Iraq.”
— Erick Fernandez (@ErickFernandez) June 28, 2019
Biden had to defend his record again when a Telemundo moderator claimed that “three million Americans” were deported without committing a crime, despite them being in the country illegally. Biden defended the Obama administration’s deportations in his answer.
The Telemundo moderator said that the Obama-Biden administration deported 3 million “Americans,” but 3 million deportations TOTAL was the estimated number under Obama.
3 million US citizens were not deported. pic.twitter.com/YXBNDI18Ii
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) June 28, 2019
“Depending if they committed a major crime they should be deported,” said Biden. “President Obama, I think, did a heck of a job and to compare him to what this guy’s doing is absolutely, I find, grossly immoral.”
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) fired back at Biden, saying “On this issue, I disagreed with my president” and questioned his change in opinion on the issue.
Harris carefully disagrees with an Obama admin position on deportations pic.twitter.com/sSGoSYy2l9
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) June 28, 2019
Immigration was not the only issue Harris went after Biden for, as she also brought up his controversial comments about working with segregationists and his record of supporting federally required bussing.
The full exchange between Kamala Harris and Joe Biden on Biden’s history with racial issues. pic.twitter.com/sK950pFyvf
— Axios (@axios) June 28, 2019
“There was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools,” said Harris. “And she was bussed to school every day. And that little girl was me.”
Biden tried to save face in his answer, saying he supported separate cities requiring it, but not at the federal level.
Should Biden give a fresher face a shot at the nomination?
Biden is one of the oldest candidates running for president, and Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) used Biden’s past comment to “pass the torch” as a call to move on from the Obama administration.
Rep. Eric Swalwell urged former Vice President Joe Biden to “pass the torch” to a new generation during the #DemDebate2. “I’m still holding onto that torch,” Biden responded. https://t.co/hA5OVkT3zT pic.twitter.com/4u8ODWGY3c
— CNN (@CNN) June 28, 2019
As IJR News reported, Biden is one of the top contenders for Democratic nominee, but it is uncertain if his past will harm his approval rating with voters.