Julian Castro Goes There With Biden: ‘Are You Forgetting What You Said Two Minutes Ago?!’
Fireworks broke out early on in Thursday night’s Democratic presidential primary debate when former HUD Secretary Julian Castro challenged former Vice President Joe Biden’s record on healthcare, claiming that not only was Biden not fulfilling the legacy of Barack Obama but suggesting that Biden was suffering from memory problems.
“Of course, I also worked for President Obama, Vice President Biden, and I know that the problem with your plan is that it leaves 10 million people uncovered,” Castro declared. “Now, on the last debate stage in Detroit, you said that wasn’t true and Senator Harris brought that up.”
He continued: “There was a fact check of that, they said that was true. You know, I grew up with a grandmother who type II diabetes and I watched her condition get worse and worse. But that whole time, she had Medicare. I want every single American family to have a strong Medicare plan available. If they choose to hold onto strong, solid private health insurance, I believe they should be able to do that.”
Castro, however, went on to say the big difference between his plan and Biden’s is that his would not require anyone to opt-in, while Biden’s would. The ex-HUD chief went on to claim that his proposal would make sure that every American was covered.
“They do not have to buy in,” Biden objected. “They do not have to buy in!”
“You just said that two minutes ago. You just two minutes ago they would have to buy in,” Castro fired back. “Are you forgetting what you said just two minutes ago?! Are you forgetting already what you said just two minutes ago?!”
The moment drew groans from the audience, likely due to the fact that the septuagenarian ex-VP has been the subject of widespread speculation—especially by conservatives—that he is suffering from senility. The moment, meanwhile, has already been seized upon by President Trump’s allies.
Making the moment worse is the fact that Biden didn’t actually say that people would need to opt in to his plan. Biden, in fact, pretty much said the opposite.
“Anyone who can’t afford it gets automatically enrolled in the Medicare-type option we have,” the former veep said moments before his exchange with Castro.
Tale of the transcript:
Biden, 8:22 pm: "Anyone who can't afford it gets automatically enrolled in the Medicare-type option we have."
Castro, 8:35: "You just two minutes ago they would have to buy in. Are you forgetting what you said two minutes ago?"
— Mike Memoli (@mikememoli) September 13, 2019
Besides causing the crowd to grumble, Castro’s attack line drew condemnation from his colleagues on the debate stage. Entrepreneur Andrew Yang threw up his hands while South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg declared that “this is why presidential debates are becoming unwatchable.”
Watch the clip above, via ABC News.