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Biden’s age, memory, rambling come under renewed attack as allies warn against low blows

Former Vice President Joe Biden got here beneath sustained and withering hearth Thursday when fellow Democrats renewed their assaults on his age, reminiscence and alleged rambling — as his allies scolded them for the low blows and warned the method will not pave the way in which to victory.

Biden, 76, fought again over the course of the three-hour debate in Houston and landed a number of jabs of his personal on fellow Democrats battling for the nomination. However the assaults on his psychological acuity, which continued after the controversy ended, re-opened a difficulty he is tried to place to relaxation, signaling one other nasty and private part within the major race as lower-polling candidates combat to take down the front-runner.


Former Housing Secretary Julian Castro, who served within the Obama administration with Biden, landed arguably the bottom blow when he swiped at Biden’s reminiscence — accusing him of contradicting himself on whether or not Individuals must purchase into his well being care plan.

“You just said two minutes ago they would have to buy in. Are you forgetting what you said two minutes ago?” Castro requested, in what seemed to be a reference to previous senior moments by Biden.

Nevertheless, Biden didn’t say in the course of the debate that people must purchase in. As a substitute, he stated that people would routinely be enrolled in the event that they misplaced their jobs.

Biden adviser Anita Dunn checked Castro later within the spin room, saying that his “cheap shot” was “based on a lie.”

“I think Castro, who likes to talk about learning from history, clearly didn’t learn from the first two debates that taking personal cheap shots at Vice President Biden actually doesn’t work out that well for the candidate who throws the shot,” Dunn advised reporters. “It’s unfortunate that Castro decided to go the route he did.”

On ABC Information, former Obama chief of employees Rahm Emanuel stated that the way in which Castro dealt with the second was a “disqualifier.”

“It will come across as mean and vindictive. That’s not who he is.”


Biden’s staff defended him within the post-debate spin-room, with deputy marketing campaign supervisor Kate Bedingfield saying that candidates “have seen, not just in the debates, but over the course of this campaign, that attacking Joe Biden is not the way to advance yourself in the polls.”

The sustained assaults, although, elevate issues that barbs from longshot candidates akin to Castro (who’s polling in low single digits) may kneecap Biden as front-runner and depart him weakened for the final election race ought to he emerge the nominee.

Nonetheless, Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., publicly backed Castro after the controversy and raised additional questions on Biden’s potential to hold the banner for the Democrats into 2020.

“I think we are at a tough point right now, because there’s a lot of people concerned about Joe Biden’s ability to carry the ball all the way across the end line without fumbling,” Booker advised CNN in an interview. “And I assume that Castro had actually legit issues about can he be somebody in a protracted grueling marketing campaign… and has each proper to name out.”

Biden did fumble on numerous events in the course of the debate, supplying extra political ammo to his rivals.

At one level he stated that “nobody should be in jail for a non-violent crime,” which might come as nice information to folks like former Trump associates Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort, who’re each serving jail time for non-violent offenses. His marketing campaign later clarified he was speaking about non-violent drug offenses. He additionally falsely claimed the Obama administration “did not lock folks up in cages.”

Additional, he was mocked on-line when he urged folks to spend evenings watching tv and to “make sure you have the record player on at night.” The reference to document gamers, regardless of having a sure hipster cachet, drew Twitter teasing whereas others drew consideration to the prolonged, rambling reply to what was a query on racism.

Booker made reference to this too in his post-debate blasting of Biden.

“At one level, he was speaking about communities like mine listening to document gamers,” he said. “I do not keep in mind the final time I noticed a document participant… However there are undoubtedly moments the place you take heed to Joe Biden and also you simply marvel.”

When requested if he was saying Biden is simply too outdated to be president, Booker stated he was “definitely not saying that” however that the veteran politician has a behavior of “meandering” in his speeches.

“I need somebody that may excite and energize and name us to a marketing campaign like we noticed again in ’08, in ’12 the place we noticed document turnouts and anyone that may converse to the fullness of the Democratic Occasion,” he said. “If I believed Joe Biden was that particular person, I would not be sitting right here.”

Biden, because the presumptive front-runner, has confronted sustained assaults earlier than. Whereas he has been main the polls since his entrance within the race, his lead has tightened amid questions over his decades-long document within the Senate and his protection of working with segregationists in the course of the 1970s.


Questions on his psychological health have additionally surfaced repeatedly and offered fodder for his opponents. President Trump has nicknamed him “Sleepy Joe.” Biden was dinged by The Washington Submit final month when it reported {that a} transferring army story he often retold had by no means occurred and that “almost every detail in the story appears to be incorrect.”

Opponents additionally seized on an announcement he made in August when he requested “What’s not to like about Vermont?”

He was in New Hampshire.

Fox Information’ Brooke Singman and Gregg Re contributed to this report.

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