MSNBC political analyst Rick Tyler said it was "disturbing" that Democratic presidential candidates criticized former president Barack Obama's legacy during the Wednesday night primary debate.
Tyler lamented during a Thursday discussion on MSNBC Live that Democrats seem to attack the former president more than they did President Donald Trump.
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"I think the most disturbing thing is they went after president Barack Obama more so than they did the president of the United States," Tyler said. "And it seemed as though a lot of Democrats were very upset about that, that they weren't taking on the president. There are a few who did, but they were few and far between."
Tyler singled out former vice president Joe Biden as the reason for the attacks. Biden's constant references to his relationship with Obama puts his primary contenders in "a very awkward position, particularly on immigration," Tyler said.
During the debate, Sen. Cory Booker (D., N.J.) and New York City mayor Bill de Blasio hit Biden for not revealing whether he had advised Obama against the mass deportations that took place during his administration. Biden dodged their questions.
Biden also dodged a question from Booker about his work on the 1994 crime bill, pointing to his civil rights work with Obama. This prompted Booker to criticize him for only associating himself with the positive aspects of Obama's tenure.
"Mr. vice president, you can't have it both ways. You invoke President Obama more than anybody in this campaign. You can't do it when it's convenient and then dodge it when it's not," Booker said.
In the two-night debate, other Democratic candidates criticized Obama. Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) criticized the Affordable Care Act, Obama's signature reform, and instead advocated for Medicare for All.