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After Debate Boos, Castro Denies Slap at Biden’s Memory Was Unfair

Julian Castro said he has no regrets about questioning former Vice President Joe Biden’s memory during the 2020 Democratic presidential debate in Houston on Thursday -- a moment that drew boos from the crowd.

“I wouldn’t do it differently,“ the former Housing and Urban Development secretary told CNN in an interview early Friday. “That was not a personal attack, this was about a disagreement over what the vice president said regarding health-care policy.“

Castro, a former Obama administration colleague of Biden’s, argued during the debate that his health-care proposal was better than Biden’s because people who qualified would automatically be enrolled, rather than having to opt in to Biden’s Medicare plan.

“They wouldn’t have a buy in,” Castro said during the debate.

When Biden shot back, “They do not have to buy in,” Castro pounced. “Are you forgetting what you said two minutes ago?” he said. “You’re forgetting that?”

Castro defended his comments in his CNN interview, saying it’s necessary to highlight the policy differences between Democratic presidential contenders. “The vice president has been around for a long time,“ he said. “When we’re up there, we’re up there to debate.“

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