Joe Biden accidentally calls Bernie Sanders 'president' during Democratic debate, corrects it as 'my friend'

During the third primary debate on September 12, ten qualifying Democratic candidates came together to present and defend their policies.


                            Joe Biden accidentally calls Bernie Sanders 'president' during Democratic debate, corrects it as 'my friend'
Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden (Getty Images)

Former Vice President and 2020 hopeful, Joe Biden, on September 12, accidentally called Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders "the president" during the third Democratic primary debate in Houston. Biden quickly realized the gaffe and corrected himself saying "my friend", instead. 

Biden, who was standing between Sanders and Senator Elizabeth Warren, made the comment while talking about his healthcare policy, which is an optional government-run health insurance plan. Sanders and Warren, Biden's main rivals, however, advocate universal healthcare.

"Everybody says we want an option. The option I'm proposing is Medicare for choice," Biden said. "If you want Medicare, if you lost the job from your employer you automatically can buy into this. You don't have... No preexisting condition can stop you from buying in, you get covered, period. And if you notice nobody's yet said how much it's going to cost the taxpayer. I hear there's large savings."

"The president thinks...," Biden continued, while gesturing to Sanders on his right. He then quickly corrected himself, saying: "My friend from Vermont thinks that the employer's going to give you back if you negotiate."

Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Bernie Sanders (L) (I-VT) and former Vice President Joe Biden pass each other on stage during the second night of the first Democratic presidential debate on June 27, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Getty Images)

"They're going to give back all that money to the employee?" Biden said turning towards Sanders. The Vermont Senator then snapped back, replying with: "Matter of fact, they will."

"Let me tell you something, for a socialist you got a lot more confidence in corporate America than I do," Biden said responding to Sanders' comment.

During the third primary debate on September 12, ten qualifying Democratic candidates came together to present and defend their policies. The event saw Biden and Warren on the debate stage for the first time since they both made their presidential candidacy announcements. 

Biden also received a zinger from former housing secretary Julián Castro during the debate as the latter attacked the former vice president's health care plan, saying he had failed in fulfilling former President Barack Obama's legacy. "If you lose your job, for instance, his health care plan would not automatically enroll you. You would have to opt-in. My health care plan would," Castro added. "I'm fulfilling the legacy of Barack Obama, and you're not." 

Other candidates present on the stage included Senator Kamala Harris, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Senator Cory Booker, Senator Amy Klobuchar, former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke, and former entrepreneur Andrew Yang.

If you have a news scoop or an interesting story for us, please reach out at (323) 421-7514