Joe Biden had a strong moment during Friday’s Democratic presidential debate when he called on the audience to “stand and give Col. Vindman a show of how much we supported him.”
Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman was dismissed from his post on the National Security Council by President Trump on Friday. He angered President Trump with his testimony in the impeachment inquiry, and Biden singled him out during the debate, comparing his service to the nation with that of conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh.
Trump awarded Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom during his State of the Union speech.
“Col. Vindman got thrown out of the White House,” the former vice president said during the debate in Manchester, N.H., adding that Trump “should be pinning a medal on Vindman and not on Rush Limbaugh. And I think that what we should be doing now, we should all stand and give Col. Vindman a show of how much we supported him. Stand up and clap for Vindman!”
The audience rose to its feet and applauded.
Moments earlier, former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg criticized Trump and his Republican supporters for going after Biden’s son Hunter over his work for Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma. As Yahoo News reported, the Treasury Department complied with a request from Senate Republicans, turning over financial records about Hunter Biden and his associates this week.
“We’re not going to let them change the subject. This is not about Hunter Biden or Vice President Biden or anybody,” Buttigieg said. “This is about abuse of power. The vice president and I are competing but we’ve got to draw a line here, and to be the kind of human being who would seek to turn someone against his own son, who would seek to weaponize a son against his own father, is an unbelievably dishonorable thing that is one more example of what we as a party have to be completely united in doing whatever it takes, at the end of the day, to make sure that this president does not get a second term.”
Biden, who is trying to rebound from a disappointing fourth-place showing in the Iowa caucuses, thanked Buttigieg, who essentially tied Sanders for first place, as the state continues counting votes.
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