While other media figures were criticizing former U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro for knocking former Vice President Joe Biden’s age during Thursday night’s Democratic Party presidential primary debate, late night host Stephen Colbert took the opportunity to pile on the ageism bandwagon.
During Colbert’s opening monologue on Thursday night following the debate, the comedian blasted Biden for saying, “I refuse to postpone one more minute.”
“Because I clearly don’t have a lot of time left,” Colbert said in mockery of Biden, according to Fox News.
Colbert then attempted to assuage the discomfort among some members of his audience by blowing Biden a proverbial kiss.
The former vice president’s age did indeed become a subject of mockery during the debate, when candidate Julian Castro knocked Biden for misremembering things when talking about healthcare.
“The difference between what I support and what you support, Vice President Biden, is that you require them to opt in, and I would not require them to opt in. They would automatically be enrolled, they wouldn’t have to buy in,” Castro said.
“You do not have to buy in,” Biden responded.
“Are you forgetting what you said two minutes ago?” Castro shot back. “Are you forgetting already what you said just two minutes ago? I can’t believe that you said two minutes ago that they had to buy in, and now you’re saying they don’t have to — you’re forgetting that.”
As noted by Fox News, Castro’s hit on Biden was later backed by candidate Sen. Cory Bookder (D-NJ), who deemed the attack fair.
“I think we are at a tough point right now, because there’s a lot of people concerned about Joe Biden’s ability to carry the ball all the way across the end line without fumbling,” Booker said. “And I think that Castro had really legitimate concerns about, can he be someone in a long grueling campaign … and has every right to call out.”
Joy Behar, co-host of “The View,” however, felt that Castro went too far by attacking Biden’s age, pointing out that the 65-and-older crowd will not appreciate it come voting time.
“This ‘old’ thing has got to stop because 25% of the electorate is over 65, and they vote. I’m one of them,” Behar said. “And I vote, so be careful what you do with old people because we will turn on you.”
In fact, Castro’s hit on Biden’s age may well have backfired by not only making Castro appear unlikeable, but also by granting Biden sympathy points in the eyes of many. Chris Cillizza of CNN said it made Castro one of the night’s losers.
“The former San Antonio mayor had a clear plan going into this debate: Go after Biden and paint himself as the true heir to the Obama legacy,” wrote Cillizza. “Unfortunately for Castro, he went way too hard at Biden on the age issue with his ‘are you forgetting’ line — that he repeated four times. The attack wound up making Biden look sympathetic — and the former vice president’s response, measured and in control, made Castro look small.”