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Swalwell attacks Biden: Bay Area congressman comes out swinging at Democratic debate

Bay Area Rep. Eric Swalwell tells Joe Biden to “pass the torch." 

Rep. Eric Swalwell took the first swing against front-runner Joe Biden during Night 2 of the Democratic debate Thursday night, alluding to the former vice president’s age.

Swalwell, a congressman from the East Bay Area suburbs, brought up the fact that he was 6 years old when Biden came to the California state Democratic Party convention and called for the passing of the torch.

Swalwell said Biden was right when he said it was time to pass the torch to a new generation of Americans — when he said it 32 years ago.

Biden’s response?

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“I’m still holding onto that torch.”

Biden, 76, is not the oldest person on the Miami stage tonight. Sen. Bernie Sanders is 77.

Democratic debate live chat: Heated exchanges between candidates on Night 2 »

It was an aggressive line from Swalwell, who earlier this year told The Times that as president he could serve as “a generational bridge” between his restless peers and their more seasoned political elders. “I look at this as a big, blank whiteboard,” he said, “not wed to the solutions of the past, not counting on the same old people to solve the same old problems.”

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Swalwell’s attack marked an early moment of vigor for the Californians on the stage tonight, though not the last.

tracy.brown@latimes.com

Twitter: @tracycbrown


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