Biden comes out on attack against Warren, Sanders

Biden comes out on attack against Warren, Sanders
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HOUSTON – Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenSenate blocks push to subpoena Bolton in impeachment trial Sanders, Biden campaigns ramp up attacks over Social Security Biden endorsed by four more members of Congressional Black Caucus MORE came out swinging at Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders, Biden campaigns ramp up attacks over Social Security Biden endorsed by four more members of Congressional Black Caucus Gabbard knocks Clinton's jab at Sanders: 'This isn't high school' MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenSanders, Biden campaigns ramp up attacks over Social Security Hill.TV's Saagar Enjeti: NYT dual endorsement could hurt Warren, Klobuchar Hillary Clinton responds to backlash: 'I will do whatever I can to support our nominee' MORE (D-Mass.) at the 2020 debate on Thursday night, saying their “Medicare for all” proposals would raise taxes on ordinary Americans and bankrupt the government.

ABC News anchor George StephanopoulosGeorge Robert StephanopoulosGOP senator on Trump soliciting foreign interference: 'Those are just statements' Alan Dershowitz: Argument president cannot be impeached for abusing power a 'strong one' Pelosi: Trump is 'impeached for life' MORE opened the presidential primary debate asking Biden if the progressive candidates flanking him on stage were going too far to the left, and Biden responded by saying that their proposals are untenable.

In one particularly testy exchange, Biden turned to Sanders and called him a “socialist.”

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The former vice president tied himself to former President Obama, saying he would build on the popular Affordable Care Act.

“[Warren] says she’s for Bernie, I’m for Barack,” Biden said.

“My plan costs a lot,” he continued. “But it doesn’t cost $30 trillion. That’s twice the entire federal budget before it exists now. How will we pay for it? I want to hear. [Warren] has not said how she’ll pay for it and [Sanders] only gets about half way there. I lay out how I can pay for it and how I can get it done and why it’s better.”

Warren responded, saying Americans “owe a huge debt” to Obama for fundamentally transforming the industry.

“The question is how best we can improve on it,” she said. “We make sure everyone gets covered at the lowest possible cost. We pay for it from those at the top, the richest and biggest corporations will pay more and Middle Class families will pay less.”

Sanders shot back at Biden as well, saying that the status quo in the health care industry would cost $20 trillion more than Medicare for all.

“Let us be clear Joe, in the U.S.A. we’re spending twice as much per capital on health care as the Canadians or any other country on Earth,” Sanders said.

“Every study shows Medicare for all is the most cost effective approach,” he continued. “I wrote the damn bill and intend to eliminate all out of pocket expenses, all deductibles and copayments, nobody in America will pay more.”

Sanders added that corporations would help employees out with the cost based on what the worker had paid into the system.

“For a socialist you got a lot more confidence in corporate America than I do,” Biden responded.

Democrats regained the House in 2018 in part by running on a message that they would protect ObamaCare from the GOP’s repeal and replace efforts, but the question of whether the party should go further and embrace Medicare for all in 2020 has split the candidates along progressive and centrist lines.

Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro piled on Biden, accusing him of forgetting his own talking points, a clear shot at Biden’s age.

“Are you forgetting what you said two minutes ago?” Castro asked.

“I’m fulfilling the legacy of Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaObama marks MLK Day by honoring King for his 'poetic brilliance' and 'moral clarity' Biden breaks away from 2020 pack in South Carolina National Archives says it altered Trump signs, other messages in Women's March photo MORE and you’re not,” he added.

Biden retorted: “That’s news to him.”

The exchange had some Democrats warning that they’re tearing each other down.

“This is why debates are unwatchable, it reminds everyone about what they can’t stand about Washington, scoring points against each other,” said South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegYang highlights outsider status in Iowa ad ahead of caucuses Pollster: Environment, income inequality drive Sanders support among young voters Poll: Sanders leads, Biden gains in New Hampshire MORE.

“A house divided cannot stand,” said Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharHill.TV's Saagar Enjeti: NYT dual endorsement could hurt Warren, Klobuchar McConnell keeps press in check as impeachment trial starts Progressive commentator: NYT editorial board endorsement 'even dumber' than expected MORE (D-Minn.).