One of the two Texans running for president is earning criticism from some pundits after a clash over healthcare with former Vice President Joe Biden during Thursday night’s Democratic presidential debate.
On Thursday, former HUD Secretary Julian Castro took aim at Biden over his healthcare plan, saying the Vice President said those who lose their health insurance plans could “buy in” to a new plan under Biden’s proposal. Castro contrasted with Biden, saying his plan would allow automatic enrollment, to which Biden responded that his plan would also allow automatic enrollment. Castro’s accusation that Biden had forgotten his statement about a “buy in” to the program drew the loudest reaction from the crowd during the clash.
"Are you forgetting what you said two minutes ago?" Castro asked Biden, "Are you forgetting already what you said just two minutes ago? I mean, 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 buy in. You're forgetting that."
The clash drew some immediate push back for Castro, including from South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who called Castro out on stage for the exchange.
“This is why presidential debates are becoming unwatchable,” Buttigieg said. “This reminds everybody of what they cannot stand about Washington; scoring points against each other and poking at each other.”
However, in a fundraising email sent out on Friday, Castro doubled down on his attack on Biden, saying that he chose not to “play it safe.”
“I could either play it safe and give Vice President Biden a free pass like everyone else — Or I could speak up, challenge the conversation, and demand answers for you and your family,” Castro said in the email. “I’m not in this race to play it safe.”