With a little over a year left before the 2020 presidential election, it's no surprise that things got heated during Thursday night's Democratic Debate on ABC. Exposing one of the most intense moments of the night, this video of Julian Castro and Joe Biden's exchange at the debate left Twitter in an uproar.
The back-and-forth took place when the candidates were talking about health care. Biden stated that rather than implementing a Medicare for All option like the one Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren are proposing, he'd like people to have both a public and private option.
"My health care plan does significantly cut the cost," Biden said. "The largest out-of-pocket payment you'll have to pay is $1,000. Anyone who can't afford it gets automatically enrolled in the Medicare-type option we have — Of the 160 million people who like their health care now, they can keep it, if they don't like it, they can leave."
When it was Castro's turn to talk about health care, he criticized Biden and insisted that the former vice president suggested that people would have to buy in to his plan. "The problem with your plan is that it leaves 10 million people uncovered," Castro said, addressing Biden directly. "The difference 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."
Biden quickly jumped in to clarify his plan doesn't require people to buy in, to which Castro insinuated Biden may have forgotten what he said. "You just said two minutes ago that they would have to buy in," Castro said. "Are you forgetting what you said two minutes ago?"
Many viewers were taken aback by the tension between the two candidates, and some took to Twitter to suggest Castro said what he did to put Biden down because of his age.
Others were angry that Castro took the debate from a productive conversation about important issues and turned it into a hostile platform to attack Biden. Some called his questioning a "low blow," while others referred to it as "insulting."
Some viewers suggested that Castro was only on the attack to bring Biden down, and score points for himself. Others called Castro a bully and called him out for acting like President Donald Trump.
Castro may not have meant to directly attack the former vice president for his age, but his comments and tone sure made viewers feel like he did. It's important to note that Biden has served this country for over 40 years, and no matter what his age, he has the skill, experience, and fundamental right to run for president.
For the most part, it looks like Americans are more interested in seeing candidates discuss issues and policies in a constructive way, rather than see them tear each other down. With all the negative and divisive rhetoric coming out of the White House these days, it feels as if Americans are longing for the days when politicians carried themselves with more civility.