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Democratic debate: Biden under fire from rival candidates and protesters – live | US news

9.20pm EDT 21:20 Booker and Biden face off over criminal justice Joe Biden defended his criminal justice reform plan and generally shrugged off responsibility for mass incarceration, which many say has been spurred by the 1994 crime bill that Biden helped craft. Cory Booker, who has made criminal justice a key plank of his campaign

Booker and Biden face off over criminal justice


Biden taking hits from all sides

Kamala Harris is receiving considerable heat online for “demoting” Joe Biden by referring to him as senator rather than his higher rank of vice president earlier in the debate

Kenneth P. Vogel

“In response to SENATOR Biden…” pic.twitter.com/tuB1AFiXPf

August 1, 2019

Harris did correct herself. But some speculated Harris may have been retaliating for Biden calling her “kid” when the pair took to the stage


Biden interrupted by immigrants’ rights activists

It seems the timing of the release of Kamala Harris’s health care plan was a masterstroke. It became the starting point for this debate and set the early terms of it. The California senator looked like the incumbent as all the others, including even Joe Biden, try to take pot shots.

Harris swatted aside Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, who claimed Kathleen Sebelius wrote the plan; Harris pointed out Sebelius merely endorsed it; Gabbard swallowed hard, realising her blunder. Harris was also able to recycle a line from last night, accusing Michael Bennet of using Republican talking points. “You gotta stop,” she said.

Biden dismisses his opponents’ arguments on health care as a “bunch of malarkey”

The protesters who interrupted Cory Booker seem to have been chanting “Fire Pantaleo” – referencing Daniel Pantaleo, the officer who put Eric Garner in a chokehold leading up to his death.

The Department of Justice recently announced it would not be bringing charges against Pantaleo. The decision on whether or not he now keeps his job will be taken on Thursday.

Here’s the moment:


Protesters started chanting “Fire Pantaleo” while Cory Booker was speaking during #DemDebate https://t.co/hAsLh3du4A pic.twitter.com/6BxlQby8qw

August 1, 2019

This is how Rashad Robinson, president of the civil rights group Color of Change responded:

Rashad Robinson

Protestors are yelling “Fire Pantaleo,” and they’re right. Eric Garner was killed 5 years ago, and Pantaleo is still employed by the NYPD. Not only does he need to be held accountable, but these candidates also must now present a real vision for criminal justice reform #DemDebate

August 1, 2019



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Susan E. Lopez

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