Sunday July 5th, 2020 1:17PM

The Latest: Swalwell dings Biden's age at Democratic debate

By The Associated Press
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MIAMI (AP) — The Latest on the second Democratic presidential debate (all times local):

9:30 p.m.

Generational differences have quickly taken center stage at the second night of the Democratic presidential debate, with a light shown on the age of 76-year-old front-runner Joe Biden.

Thirty-eight-year-old California Rep. Eric Swalwell recalled being only 6 years old when he saw Biden speak, saying the former senator and vice president was "right when he said it was time to pass the torch to a new generation of Americans."

Biden quickly retorted, "I'm still holding onto that torch."

Biden's contemporary, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders argued the issue "is not generational," insisting the field should be focused on things like "who has the guts to take on Wall Street."

California Sen. Kamala Harris added her voice to the fray, saying, "Hey guys. You wanna know what America does not want to witness, a food fight. They want to know how they're going to put food on the table."

___

9:25 p.m.

Three of the senators running for president are calling for health care reform without even waiting for questions about it.

Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado said at Thursday's Democratic presidential debate that he agreed with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders that "health care is a right" for all Americans. But he questioned Sanders' "Medicare for All" plan that would extend coverage to everyone in the country, saying the U.S. isn't ready for it.

Sanders smirked as he listened to Bennet's answer before defending his plan. Then, unprompted, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand jumped in and said that she wrote the portion of the bill that Sanders had proposed that would transition the country toward Medicare for All plans.

Struggling to restore order, the moderators said repeatedly that they'd "get to" health care questions later.

___

9:20 p.m.

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is defending his warnings on the Democratic Party veering toward socialism.

Hickenlooper said Thursday at the second Democratic presidential debate that if Democrats fail to clearly define themselves as not being socialists, Republicans are going to come at the party "every way they can and call us socialists."

Hickenlooper says, "We can't promise every American a government job."

The former governor also expressed reluctance to the Green New Deal and eliminating private medical insurance.

___

9:15 p.m.

Former Vice President Joe Biden became the first to invoke Donald Trump during the second round of the Democratic presidential debate, blasting the Republican president for crediting wealthy Americans for building the nation.

Biden said Thursday that "ordinary middle-class Americans built America."

Biden says Trump has "put us in a horrible situation," by signing tax cuts that favor higher-income Americans. Biden says he would make "massive cuts" in the 2017 act's loopholes and be "about eliminating Donald Trump's tax cuts for the wealthy."

However, Biden did not address directly the question to him, which was about comments he made during a recent fundraiser, where he assured donors their lifestyles would not suffer by the tax cut reversal.

___

9:10 p.m.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is acknowledging that his proposals for sweeping government programs would require middle-class Americans to pay more taxes. But he says they'd still spend less on health care under his system than they do today through the private insurance system.

Sanders is a self-professed democratic socialist who wants a Medicare-style system to cover all Americans' health care services. He says he'd make public colleges and universities tuition free and eliminate existing student debt.

Sanders said Thursday at the second Democratic presidential debate that education proposals would be paid for by taxes on the wealthy and corporations. But he confirms that other Americans would have to pay more taxes for his health care program, in lieu of the existing system of private premiums, deductibles and co-pays.

___

9 a.m.

The second debate of the 2020 Democratic presidential debate is kicking off with 10 more candidates, including many of the leading White House hopefuls.

Former Vice President Joe Biden is center stage Thursday night in Miami alongside Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Joining them for the two-hour event are two other top contenders: California Sen. Kamala (KAH'-mah-lah) Harris and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg (BOO'-tuh-juhj). At either end will be the candidates polling at the bottom of the field: author Marianne Williamson and California congressman Eric Swalwell.

Candidates will not get opening statements but will have time for closings.

Ten other candidates debated on Wednesday, including Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

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