Former Vice President Joe Biden may have lost the second round of Democratic debates before the debate even began. When Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) came on stage, Biden said, “Go easy on me, kid.” Many liberals — including one other 2020 Democratic candidate — slammed Biden for calling the black former California attorney general a “kid.” While Biden seems to have been joking, there is a long ugly history of white Americans calling black Americans “boy.” Perhaps for that reason, liberals seem particularly outraged.
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris just shook hands before facing off tonight on stage for a #DemDebate rematch.
— CNN (@CNN) August 1, 2019
“She’s a senator and a bad ass. Not a kid,” Christina Reynolds, vice president of communications at the pro-abortion group EMILY’s List, tweeted.
She's a senator and a bad ass. Not a kid.
— Christina Reynolds (@creynoldsnc) August 1, 2019
“Yes, Joe Biden said, ‘go easy on me kid’ to Kamala Harris when they shook hands. Yes, that is totally obnoxious,” feminist author Jessica Valenti tweeted. “Small diminishments like that add up over a lifetime and it’s infuriating. The good news is that angry women are my favorite.”
Small diminishments like that add up over a lifetime and it's infuriating. The good news is that angry women are my favorite.
— Jessica Valenti (@JessicaValenti) August 1, 2019
Tom Steyer, an environmentalist activist who made his money investing in coal and belatedly entered the Democratic presidential race recently, retweeted Valenti, adding, “She’s a U.S. Senator from California and a former Attorney General, not a kid.”
— Tom Steyer (@TomSteyer) August 1, 2019
New York Times culture reporter Sopan Deb tweeted, “look, like many things with biden, i’m sure it was well-intentioned. but, come on man. maybe let’s not call a 54-year-old senator and presidential candidate ‘kid’ on national television. call ME kid. because of my existential angst of my years slipping away.”
Poet Saeed Jones jokingly wished violence on Biden for calling Harris a “kid.”
“Biden shook Harris’s hand and said ‘go easy on me, kid.’ LOL. I hope she shanks him,” he tweeted.
Biden shook Harris’s hand and said “go easy on me, kid.” LOL. I hope she shanks him. #DemDebate
— Saeed Jones (@theferocity) August 1, 2019
GOP Rapid Response Director Steve Guest asked, “Did Joe Biden just lose the debate during the introductions?” If these angry responses are representative, the answer may be yes.
Did Joe Biden just lose the debate during the introductions?
Biden said "Go easy on me kid" to Kamala Harris. #DemDebate
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) August 1, 2019
But hey — Tom Steyer made himself relevant.
And P.S. Biden has spent the beginning of the debate defending Obamacare. Yes, it’s getting worse for him after the introductions.
Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.