Former Vice President Joe Biden hit back at critics Saturday who claim he’s too old to run for the presidency and beat Donald Trump.
During a fundraiser at the home of former Twitter executive Katie Jacobs Stanton in Los Altos, California, the 76-year-old Biden told 200 attendees, per the pool reporter:
I know I get criticized, ‘Biden says he can bring the country together.’ Well, guess what? I refuse to accept — ‘He’s the old guy.’ I refuse to accept the status quo. The status quo will not sustain us. I really mean it. It can’t happen. If we unite this country, think about it, there’s not a damn thing we can’t do.
Biden’s age came into the spotlight during the debate last Thursday when Democratic California Rep. Eric Swalwell stated then-Sen. Biden’s own words, claiming Biden should “pass the torch to a new generation of Americans.”
“I was 6 years old when a presidential candidate came to the California Democratic Convention and said, ‘It’s time to pass the torch to a new generation of Americans.’ That candidate was then-Sen. Joe Biden,” Swalwell said. “Joe Biden was right when he said it was ‘time to pass the torch’ to a new generation of Americans 32 years ago. He’s still right today.” (RELATED: FLASHBACK: Joe Biden Said ‘Busing’ Was Harmful To The Civil Rights Movement)
Sen. Bernie Sanders, 77, also took issue with Swalwell’s remarks and accused the 38-year-old California Democrat of ageism following the debate.
Sanders explained, “I think that’s kind of like ageism, to tell you the truth, and I think what we are trying to do with all of us trying to do is to end discrimination in this country against women, against minorities, against the LGBT community, and I think on ageism as well.”
FILE PHOTO: Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at an event at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds in Davenport, Iowa, U.S. June 11, 2019. REUTERS/Jordan Gale
Swalwell defended his remarks to reporters after the debate, saying, “What I’m saying is that. If you have been around for decades in public service and these issues on climate. Gun violence, student loan debt still persist then we should look to the next generation — new energy, new ideas — to solve these problems.”
Biden, at the fundraiser, also reiterated previous points that he has made at other fundraisers including his views on Trump’s response to the 2017 Charlottesville riot and that he never supported segregation. (RELATED: Support For Joe Biden Plummets 10 Points After Debate)
“I moved to a state where there was still an ongoing, real, genuine struggle on segregation and rights related to the African-American community,” Biden said. “That’s how I got involved as a kid in politics, and that’s how I got involved as a public defender.”
Attendees at the donor event included major Obama campaign contributors Denise Bauer, former ambassador and Women for Obama 2012 national finance chair, and Richard Blum, husband of Democratic California Sen. Dianne Feinstein.
Guests paid $250 to $2,800 to be at the event, according to an invitation, and while San Francisco attorney Thomas McInerney’s name was a guest printed on the invitation, CNBC reported he pulled his support for Biden following the debate on Thursday.
The former VP closed his remarks saying, “Folks, we’ve got to remember who we are — let’s pick our heads up and remember, this is the United States of American. There’s not a damn thing we can’t do. Thank you for giving me a shot.”