Politics

Castro Hits Biden Over Health Care: ‘Are You Forgetting What You Said Two Minutes Ago?’

'I'm fulfilling the legacy of Barack Obama and you're not'

Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro blasted former vice president and current frontrunner Joe Biden over health care, sparking an exchange that devolved into a back and forth between several candidates on stage during Thursday's Democratic debate.

"I also want to recognize the work that Bernie has done on this and, of course, we owe a debt of gratitude to President Barack Obama," Castro said. "Of course, I also worked for President Obama, Vice President Biden, and I know that the problem with your plan is that it leaves 10 million people uncovered."

"I want every single American family to have a strong Medicare plan available. If they choose to hold onto strong, solid private health insurance, I believe they should be able to do that," Castro continued. "But the differences 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, they would automatically be enrolled. They wouldn't have to buy in. That's a big difference, because Barack Obama's vision was not to leave 10 million people uncovered. He wanted every single person in this country covered. My plan would do that. Your plan would not."

"They do not have to buy in. They do not have to buy in," Biden responded.

"You just said that two minutes ago. You just said two minutes ago, they would have to buy in," Castro shot back. "Are you forgetting what you said two minutes ago? Are you forgetting already what you said just two minutes ago?"

The crowd appeared to be surprised by Castro's comments. Critics and opponents of Biden have started to question his age and health due to the increasing number of gaffes he has committed.

Castro went on to say that he was fulfilling the legacy of Obama.

"That will be a surprise to him," Biden responded.

The debate moderators then turned to businessman Andrew Yang, but South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg interrupted.

"This is why presidential debates are becoming unwatchable. This reminds everybody of what they cannot stand about Washington," Buttigieg said in reference to Castro's attack on Biden. "Scoring points against each other. Poking at each other. And telling each other that—my plan, your plan."

"That's called the Democratic primary election, Pete," Castro cut in. "That's called an election. That's an election, you know? This is what we're here for. It's an election."

"Yeah, but a house divided cannot stand," Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D., Minn.) added. "And that is not how we're going to win this."