MIAMI -- Democratic presidential hopeful Eric Swalwell, one of the youngest candidates in the 2020 field, took a direct swipe at Joe Biden's age during Thursday's debate, calling on the former vice president to “pass the torch” to a new generation of leaders.
The 38-year-old Democratic congressman from California was responding to a question on jobs in the 21st century, when he took the first shot at the primary front-runner.
“I was six years old when a presidential candidate came to the California Democratic Convention and said ‘it’s time to pass the torch to a new generation of Americans.’ That candidate was then-Senator Joe Biden,” Swalwell said. “Joe Biden was right 32 years ago, and he’s still right today.”
Swalwell went onto list hot-button issues like gun violence, climate and student loan debt, and said, “if we’re going to solve” the issues, “pass the torch.”
He followed up with a tweet:
Biden, who is 76, let Swalwell finish but fired back with a grin: “I’m still holding onto that torch. I want to make that clear to you.”
“Look we have to make sure that everybody is prepared to get an education. That is why I propose focusing on schools that are in distress, that is why I propose tripling the amount of money we spend for Title I schools, that’s why I call for…universal pre-K, that is why every single person…needs something beyond high school and we should provide for them to be able to get that education,” Biden explained.
Biden laid out proposals like “free community college,” and freezing interest on student loan debt for individuals making less than $25,000 per year.
“We can’t put people in a position where they are not able to move on,” Biden said. “There is a lot that we can do but we have to make continuing education available for everyone so that everyone can compete in the 21st century. We’re not doing that now.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., defended Biden, saying he's also part of that generation.
Biden is not the oldest in the pack. Sanders is 77 and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., is 69.
Should Trump be re-elected, he would be 74 on Jan. 20, 2021—Inauguration Day.