Biden pleads with Harris over debate handshake: ‘Go easy on me, kid’

The first moment of friction landed only a few minutes into Thursday night’s CNN presidential debate.

Former Vice President Joe Biden was the first to be introduced onto the debate stage in Detroit, Michigan. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) was the second candidate to come out onto the stage.

(Screenshot from CNN)

As Harris walked onto the stage, she greeted Biden and as they were shaking hands, Biden said, “Go easy on me, kid.”

The moment was obviously in reference to the viral spat the two had at a previous debate where Harris questioned Biden’s civil rights record.

The Thursday night moment was yet another gaffe for Biden because it showed weakness and worry when it comes to Harris,  a candidate many believe is his biggest competition.

Responses to Biden’s plea with Harris immediately began rolling in on social media.

“Having a large number of candidates in a debate reminds me that many elected officials are terrible public speakers,” tweeted journalist Yashar Ali in response to the gaffe from Biden.

“Yes, Joe Biden said, “go easy on me kid” to Kamala Harris when they shook hands. Yes, that is totally obnoxious,” author Jessica Valenti tweeted about the moment.

She added, “Small diminishments like that add up over a lifetime and it’s infuriating. The good news is that angry women are my favorite.”

“Ummm. ‘Go easy on me, kid?’ He will always be terrible but it’s pretty amazing how consistently willing he is to remind us,” another user tweeted about the moment.

“Joe Biden to Kamala Harris ‘go easy on me, kid.’ Aww, Biden is a good guy, I do love him. I just don’t think he’s what the country needs now,” replied another.

Harris obviously didn’t respond well to Biden’s words because the two clashed early in the debate over healthcare and, again, Twitter users ate it up with the majority of criticism going Biden’s way.

Check out some more reactions below:

Biden may be polling well right now, but his campaign is something of a disaster. He’s a former vice president. He should be wiping the floor with his competition, but he seems continually flustered by attacks from competitors like Harris.

Whatever his struggles can be written up to, it’s clear that Biden is quickly becoming his own worst enemy and things are likely only going to get harder for the former vice president as this clown show chugs along.

CNN’s July 31 debate included the candidates Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO), former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-NY), Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, and businessman Andrew Yang.

The moderators for the debate were Don Lemon, Jake Tapper and Dana Bash.

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