Rep. Eric Swalwell, a 38-year-old Californian running in the Democratic presidential primary, took an extremely pointed shot at Joe Biden’s age on Thursday night. It quickly devolved into a shouting match that teetered on the edge of generational warfare.
“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,’” Swalwell began. “ That candidate was then Sen. Joe Biden. Joe Biden was right when he said that 32 years ago. He is still right today.”
Biden grinned broadly at the camera, and the moderators gave him a chance to reply. “I’m still holding on to that torch,” he said, before going on a riff about education policy.
From there, things spiraled.
“As the youngest guy on stage––” South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg interjected.
“As a member of Joe’s generation, let me respond,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) interrupted.
A few moments of shouting played out, with barely any of it intelligible, before Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) shut down the spat.
“The American people don’t want to see a food fight,” she said. “They want to see how we’re going to put food on the table.”