Joe Biden and Kamala Harris Clash on Health Care, Busing in Second CNN Debate
Despite Biden's now-controversial ask of Harris to "go easy on me, kid," the Democratic frontrunner and California senator clashed on multiple issues on the CNN debate stage.
The second night of the second round of Democratic debates took place Wednesday in Detroit. Of the night's many matchups, none was more anticipated than presidential hopefuls Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.
The candidates initially took the spotlight during the first Democratic debate thanks to fiery exchanges, including California Sen. Harris challenging the former vice president about his comments about working with segregationist senators and his record on civil rights.
Before CNN moderators could ask the first question of the night, social media picked up on a now controversial line uttered by Biden to Harris as they greeted each other on stage: "Go easy on me, kid." As the night unfolded, easy would not describe the two's exchanges as they went toe to toe on several issues including health care and race.
The first spark came from Biden, slamming Harris' "Medicare for All" plan as one that would raise taxes on the middle class and ultimately cost taxpayers $3 trillion even after two terms in office.
"The senator’s had several plans so far," said Biden, adding that Harris' strategy would be unsuccessful against the current administration. "You can’t beat President Trump with double talk on this plan."
Harris returned with a knock towards Biden's own plan. "For a Democrat to be running for president with a plan that does not cover everyone is without excuse."
The senator later revisited her criticism on Biden's history of working with segregationist senators. When Jake Tapper asked Harris if Biden was correct in that they hold the same position on federally mandated busing, she responded, "That is simply false."
"When the vice president was in the United States Senate, working with segregationists, had I been in the United States Senate, I would have been completely on the other side of the aisle," Harris continued. "I would not be a member of the United States Senate ... and Barack Obama would not have been in the position to nominate [Biden] to the title he now holds."
During closing remarks, Harris took a final shot at President Donald Trump for "predatory behavior" and for having "babies in cages."
At the end of Biden's remarks, he mistakenly directed the audience to a phone number versus an online address: “If you agree with me, go to 'Joe 30330' and help me in this fight."
Biden and Harris appeared onstage with New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker; entrepreneur Andrew Yang; former Housing Secretary Julian Castro; New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio; Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet; Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard; New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand; and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee.