Former Vice President Joe Biden uttered a line in Thursday night’s Democratic presidential debate that’s already being used against him on social media.
He said: “My time’s up.”
Biden was referring to his time on the debate clock, but to his critics, the 76-year-old may as well have been speaking about his time in national politics.
Biden had just come under a not-so-veiled attack about his age by Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), who recalled Biden speaking about passing the torch “to a new generation of Americans” at the 1988 Democratic National Convention:
“Joe Biden was right when he said it was time to pass the torch to a new generation of Americans 32 years ago,” Swalwell said. “He’s still right today.”
But Biden wasn’t having it.
“I’m still holding onto that torch,” he said.
If Biden was, he may have dropped it during his debate about race with Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.). Harris called out Biden for his recent comments about working with segregationists in the Senate and for his opposition to a federal program to bus students and integrate schools.
Given a 30-second warning, Biden ticked off his track record on civil rights and voting rights before running out of steam. Then he played moderator on himself.
“Anyway, my time’s up,” he said. “I’m sorry.”
Twitter critics noted it was a stark contrast to his comments about holding onto the torch, and many wondered if the “time’s up” line could come to define him and his campaign: