Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders had perhaps the most awkward moment in Thursday’s Democratic presidential debate in Los Angeles when he suddenly and seemingly not in response to any question, reminded the debate audience about his race. In a debate where, according to a CNN analysis, he spoke more than any of the other six candidates on stage at Loyola Marymount University, Sanders answered a question about his age by suddenly shouting, “I’m white as well!”
When the debate had ended, according to the CNN numbers, Sanders had spoken for 20 minutes and 18 seconds, or 24 seconds longer than Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren spoke for the third-longest time, coming in at 19 minutes and 23 seconds.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination, spoke for only 15 minutes and 28 seconds, a shorter time than any other candidate except the two businessmen running in the primary, Tom Steyer and Andrew Yang.
But much of what Sanders had to say took a back seat — at least on social media — to his response to a question from Tim Alberta of Politico, who asked the candidates to respond to a recent statement by former President Barack Obama.
Obama said that the world would be better run with women in positions of power and that most problems are caused by “old people, usually old men, not getting out of the way,” as quoted by the BBC.
Alberta, as seen in the video above, started with Sanders, stating that the Vermont senator, who is 78, was the oldest candidate on the debate stage.
“And I’m white as well,” Sanders suddenly shouted, eliciting mostly silence from the crowd at the debate.
After a brief pause, however, the senator responded to the question — but sidestepped the issue of his age.
“The issue is not old or young, male or female. The issue is working people standing up, taking on the billionaire class,” Sanders said, as quoted by the media-monitoring site Mediaite.
The Vermont lawmaker had another viral moment during the debate, in a heated exchange with Biden over their respective health care plans, according to the CNN report.
As Biden explained his plan to add a “public option” to the existing Affordable Care Act — or “Obamacare” — health care program, Sanders, who often gesticulates expressively when speaking in public, was seen waving his arm in Biden’s direction.
“Put your hand down for a second, Bernie,” Biden said.
“Just waving to you, Joe. Saying hello,” Sanders replied.
A recent poll showed that Biden and Sanders are the two Democrats holding the largest leads over Donald Trump in a head-to-head matchup. In the Fox News poll, Biden led the president nationwide by seven percentage points, while Sanders held a six-point lead.