The good news for former Vice Pres. Joe Biden is that he didn’t slur his words or trip over syllables in last night’s Democratic debate. At least not that much. The bad news is the many other ways in which he showed he is not ready for prime time.
Reminding us in her opening sentence that Biden is 76, The Washington Examiner’s Emily Larsen also notes that at one point Biden accidentally endorsed one of his primary rivals.
One of his biggest problems last night was numbers:
Near the beginning of the Detroit debate, Biden said that California Sen. Kamala Harris’ plan on “Medicare for all” single-payer healthcare “in 10 years will cost $3 trillion,” misstating estimates that find “Medicare for all” would cost $32 trillion over a decade.
The former vice president … later gave a different figure in line with popular estimates: “My plan costs $750 billion. That’s what it costs. Not $30 trillion.”
He slipped up again when he warned in his closing comments that “eight more years of Trump will change America in a fundamental way.” But assuming that Donald Trump remains president through 2020, he will be constitutionally limited to one more four-year term, not eight.
Calling for immediate action on climate change, Biden said, “We’re responsible for 15% of all the pollution in the country.” Tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang correctly stated the statistic shortly later, that the U.S. accounts for about 15% of global emissions.
Twitchy picked up on some other Biden flubs involving numbers, such as his claim that the “maximum copay” under his health care plan would be $1,000. He obviously meant “deductible.”
Biden ended the entire debate with the biggest flub of all, telling supporters to “go to Joe 30330” as if it were a website. He meant “Text Joe to 30330.”
Not all of Biden’s screw-ups were numerical. In an especially egregious gaffe came during an exchange with New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker on Biden’s support for the 1994 crime bill, Biden inadvertently conceded the primary and the general election to Booker:
The fact is that the bills that the president, excuse me, the future president, that the senator is talking about, are bills that were passed years ago and they were passed overwhelmingly.