ATLANTA — It's not a secret that former Vice President Joe Biden often suffers slips of the tongue, but it seems he may have had a rough night during Wednesday night's debate at Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta.
While the 2020 candidate didn't seem to be as vocal on stage, Biden still had several moments during the night that made debate watchers cringe.
One of those moments came about midway through the debate when Biden, while explaining how he would plan to address domestic violence against women amid the Me Too Movement, said we have to "keep punching at it and punching at it" in order to change what he described as the culture of violence.
Another moment came between the vice president and Sen. Cory Booker. At one point, the exchange focuses on the legalization of marijuana. While discussing the topic, Booker recalls how Biden said that he did not support the legalization of marijuana because it is a "gateway drug."
"I thought you might have been high when you said it," Booker zinged, setting off social media reaction.
The New Jersey senator pointed out that marijuana is “already legal for privileged people.”
Biden replied that he believes marijuana should be decriminalized and that people convicted of marijuana-related crimes should be released from prison and have their records expunged. But, he added, he does support studying the drug’s long-term effects.
But the biggest awkward exchange came when Biden tried to explain his support among black voters.
Biden fumbled his way through explaining that he comes from "black community in terms of my support," because they know him. He added that he has the support from members of the black caucus and "the only black woman to ever been elected the the U.S. Senate," referencing Carol Mosley Braun - except that Sen. Kamala Harris was standing on stage with him.
"That's not true," Booker said.
"I said the first," Biden tried to correct, as the camera cut to Harris laughing.
In an interview after the debate, a journalist asked Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance about Biden's comment. She called the attention the moment is receiving "silly season."
"I think it was very clear that he was talking about the first African American woman," she said. "He was there when Kamala Harris was sworn in, so clearly he knows there is another African American woman."
Bottoms is a supporter of Biden. She endorsed the former vice president over the summer.
The gaffe set off Twitter, who reacted to the slip.
Overall, people seemed to feel that the night didn't go well for Biden.
Online, Democratic voters' feelings on Joe Biden seem to be summed up in one mood:
Material from the Associated Press contributed to this report.
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