Joe Biden loses the thread, he misses. In the star debate of the Democratic primary, Biden called progressive Bernie Sanders "president." And of course, his rivals took advantage and hinted that he is old: "Did you just forget what he said just two minutes ago?"
The question weighs. But Biden weighs 76 years, almost half a century of political career and too many decisions to explain. The candidates to win the White House in the 2020 elections this Thursday strove to show that "Joe" is the past, not the future of the US
In the debate, Biden tried to show himself as the most reasonable, most moderate option to defeat the current White House tenant, Donald Trump. It didn't work out.
Julian Castro, 44, and former Minister of Housing, put the former vice president against the ropes as soon as the debate began.
They got involved in a little detail about Biden's health plan. Then, the conversation revolved around the totally public health model known as "Medicare for all" and defended by the most progressive candidates, Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
"Did you just forget what you said just two minutes ago? Did you just forget what you said just two minutes ago?" Castro repeated. "I can't believe it, you said that two minutes ago."
The insinuation of Castro was received with astonishment by the public in the city of Houston (Texas), the scene of the debate. And social networks were flooded with humorous reactions: some compared the exchange with a boxing match and others hung up expressions of surprises from different actors, including Eddie Murphy.
Soon, the commentators of ABC, the chain that relayed the debate, ventured to warn: this can be expensive Castro, is playing with fire.
But, Castro's boldness did not stop there. He also dared to dispute with Biden the legacy of former President Barack Obama (2009-2017). The two worked for the ex-president: Biden as vice president for eight years and Castro, secretary of Housing between 2014 and 2017.
"I am fulfilling Obama's legacy and you are not," Castro attacked. Biden did not like his attitude and sharp replied: "That would be a surprise for me."
The bad milk with which Castro played, last in the polls and looking for a moment of glory, can cost Biden very expensive.
The former vice president had already been criticized by some media, including The Washington Post, for telling again and again a heartbreaking story that is not entirely true.
Specifically, in his campaign events, Biden has narrated how when he was vice president he traveled to the Afghan province of Kunar to honor a US Navy captain. which supposedly came down a ravine 189 meters high to recover the body of an American soldier, killed in combat.
Biden awarded the captain with a silver star, one of the most important value awards of the US Army.
Following that story, journalists from The Washington Post interviewed more than a dozen American soldiers and members of the ex-president's campaign. They concluded that the story was incorrect and that Biden had built it through three different events.
Biden had tried to clear that controversy, which haunted him the last two weeks; But this Thursday’s debate didn’t help.
He was clumsy. At one point, he referred to Sanders, standing and beside him, as "president." Then, he rectified and called him "my friend."
He also had trouble explaining his vote in favor of the war in Iraq and avoided answering questions about the Obama administration's immigration policies. He even said that Obama did not put undocumented immigrants "in cages," as Trump has done on the Mexican border.
But, in reality, the facilities where Trump has locked migrants were built during the Obama administration.
The spectators expected a lot from Biden, placed in the center of the stage, leader in the polls and the candidate who spoke the most: 18 full minutes of the three hours of debate.
And yet, Biden once again was not able to impress.
Beatriz Pascual Macías
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