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Biden, 76, mocked by rival who asks ‘did you forget what you said 2 minutes ago?’ – Live News 24

JOE Biden’s memory was called into question by rival Julian Castro in an uncomfortable exchange during the Democratic TV debate on Thursday  The Democratic presidential front-runner, 76, was grilled over his mental state by Castro, 44, who turned the knife amid concerns about Biden’s advancing years  In a fierce clash on healthcare, Castro snapped at Biden, asking: “Are you forgetting what you said two minutes ago?”  The comment drew audible gasps from the audience, with viewers at home branding the attack “ugly” and “disrespectful”  Castro landed the jab while accusing Biden of contradicting himself over whether Americans would buy into a public health care option under his plan or if they would be automatically enrolled  The implication was clear, but Castro was actually mistaken.  Two minutes before, Biden said that under his health care plan, “every single person who is diagnosed with cancer or any other disease can automatically become part of this plan ”  And about 10 minutes prior to that, Biden said it more plainly: “Anyone who can’t afford it gets automatically enrolled in the Medicare-type option we have ”  Despite these comments, Castro that Biden would “require them to opt in”.  Biden then cut in saying: “They do not have to buy in They do not have to buy in.”  This comment caused Castro to accuse Biden of “forgetting” what he had previously said  When Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, noted the exchange was what people did not like about politicians, Castro shot back: “That’s called an election  Biden has faced increased scrutiny over his health as the race for the White House intensifies  In Thursday’s debate, Biden also clashed with Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders on healthcare, defending Obamacare and accusing them of not being honest about the cost of their plans  Biden, who served as vice president for eight years under Barack Obama, said he would build on Obama’s landmark healthcare law  He accused Warren and Sanders of wanting to tear it down with their support for Medicare for All, a government-run healthcare plan that would eliminate private insurance  “I know that the senator says she’s for Bernie. Well I’m for Barack. I think Obamacare worked,” Biden said “This is about candour, honesty, big ideas.”  Warren, a U.S. senator from Massachusetts, who has moved into second behind Biden in opinion polls of the Democratic race to face Republican President Donald Trump in the November 2020 election, praised Obama’s healthcare efforts  “Now the question is how best can we improve on it,” she said, adding that under Medicare for All, those at the top would pay more but the middle class would pay less  Sanders, who sponsored the Medicare for All plan in the U.S. Senate, said the plan based on the existing government-run Medicare program for Americans 65 and older was the most cost-effective approach  Some analysts have estimated his plan would cost $32 trillion over a decade.  The battle over healthcare has been the biggest area of disagreement in the Democratic race, with candidates battling on how to improve on Obamacare  Biden said his plan would give Americans more options, including staying with their plans if they like them  “I’ve never actually met anybody who likes their health insurance company,” Warren responded  The debate featured the top 10 candidates for the party’s presidential nomination sharing a stage for the first time The previous two Democratic debates in June and July were split over two nights.  Entrepreneur Andrew Yang opened the debate by promising to give $1,000 a month to 10 Americans for the next year, calling it a “freedom dividend ”  The offer drew laughs from a few other contenders.  “It’s original, I’ll give you that,” Buttigieg said  The first two rounds of debates also were contentious, as Biden came under repeated attacks for his record on race and criminal justice reform and his views on healthcare  But several of the candidates tried to emphasise their areas of agreement and turn their criticism toward Trump  Biden praised former U.S. Representative Beto O’Rourke for his work after a mass shooting in his hometown of El Paso, Texas, drawing a sustained ovation from the debate crowd  The sharp bickering during the first two rounds of the debates dismayed some Democrats, who have urged the candidates to rein in their attacks and focus on laying out their own affirmative agendas

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