Castro goes after Biden during debate

Maricruz Casares
Setiembre 13, 2019

Biden and Warren have been dueling each other in several recent polls, and since this will be their first time on stage together, the debate is likely to shed some light on how much of a progressive agenda the Democrats are going to run with in the 2020 presidential election.

And Biden senior adviser Symone Sanders added that "voters know Joe Biden". "If they choose to hold on to strong, solid private health insurance I believe they should be able to do that, but 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". There were more attacks on President Donald Trump than on each other.

Julián Castro went straight for the jugular during Thursday night's Democratic debate, telling former Vice President Joe Biden that when it comes to health care, "I'm fulfilling the legacy of Barack Obama, and you're not".

The facts: This 10 million number has come up in past debates as a dig against Biden's plan.

Biden roared that Sanders would effectively be handing Americans a pay cut, arguing employers who now pay a share of workers' premiums would pocket that money instead of giving workers raises if the government were to cover all health care costs. Moments later, former Housing and Urban Development secretary Julian Castro went on the attack, accusing him of forgetting a detail about how people would get enrolled in his plan. When Biden denied that his health plan required people to buy into Medicare, Castro exclaimed, "Are you forgetting what you said 2 minutes ago?" Castro said, an apparent dig at Biden's advanced age - he is 76 - and well-documented tendency to misspeak and mix up his words.

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But Warren's strategy of focusing exclusively on her ideas, and not engaging with other candidates, comes with a risk.

California Senator Kamala Harris, for example, used the fighting that erupted around her as an opportunity to cast herself as a unifying candidate who could simply beat Trump. "But let's focus on the end goal. I want to hear tonight how that happened". Love for one former president, loathing for the current one.

"Play the radio, make sure the television, excuse me, make sure you have the record player on at night, the, make sure that kids hear words, a kid coming from a very poor school, a very poor background will hear 4 million words fewer spoken by the time we get there", Biden said.

"Losing him was like losing part of my soul", Biden said. But perhaps the two campaigns were right after all when they said privately before the debate that September - five months before the Iowa caucuses - isn't necessarily the time for a titanic fight at the top of the field.

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