Debate: Biden Praises Obama, Obamacare Despite Endorsement Silence

US President Barack Obama hugs US Vice President Joe Biden after the President delivered his farewell address in Chicago, Illinois on January 10, 2017. Barack Obama closes the book on his presidency, with a farewell speech in Chicago that will try to lift supporters shaken by Donald Trump's shock election. …
NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama has yet to endorse his former Vice President, Joe Biden, for the 2020 Democrat presidential nomination, but Biden repeatedly praised Obama during his first debate appearance on Thursday in Miami.

He also praised Obama’s signature health care law, the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare.

NBC moderator Jose Diaz-Balart asked Biden about the three million people who were deported during the Obama-Biden administration and whether someone should be deported if his only offense was not being in the country legally.

“Depending if they committed a major crime, they should be deported,” Biden said. “And the president was left in a — President Obama I think did a heck of a job.”

Biden balked at the idea that Obama was anything like President Donald Trump.

“To compare him to what this guy is doing is absolutely, I find, immoral,” Biden said.

And when Chuck Todd said that Obama had not achieved what he wanted to do regarding climate change, Biden defended Obama before answering a question about what would be his first priority if elected.

“I think you’re so underestimating what Barack Obama did,” Biden said. “He’s the first man to bring together the entire world, 196 nations, to commit to deal with climate change, immediately.”

 “So I don’t buy that. But the first thing I would do is make sure that we defeat Donald Trump, period.

“Vice President Biden, I want to put the question to you,” NBC’s Lester Holt said. “You were an architect — one of the architects of Obamacare. So where do we go from here?”

Biden offered an emotional answer, citing the death of his wife and young daughter in a car accident and his son Beau’s unsuccessful cancer battle and his gratitude for access to medical care.

 “The fact of the matter is that the quickest, fastest way to do it is to build on Obamacare, to build on what we did,” Biden said.

 “And, secondly — secondly, to make sure that everyone does have an option. Everyone, whether they have private insurance or employer insurance and no insurance, they, in fact, can buy in, in the exchange to a Medicare-like plan,” Biden said. “And the way to do that — we can do it quickly.”

“Look, urgency matters,” Biden said. There’s people right now facing what I faced, and what we faced, without any of the help I had. We must move now. I’m against any Democrat who opposes and takes down Obamacare and any Republican who wants to get rid of Obamacare.

Follow Penny Starr on Twitter

 

.

Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.