Former vice president Joe Biden, in a hot-mic moment, told Kamala Harris, "Go easy on me, kid," minutes before they met for the second time in the Democratic debates.
People immediately reacted to Biden, 76, calling Harris, 54, "kid" — effectively cueing up lots of 🤦♀️ online.
Biden was referring to Harris's directly calling out his history on race issues at the last debate — placing the former vice president under scrutiny and elevating Harris.
The former vice president, who has been a frontrunner in a very crowded field of candidates, was the first one to take the stage Wednesday night in Detroit. Harris was the second. Here's what happened when they met to shake hands:
People were closely watching how Biden performed during his second showdown after a few tense exchanges with Harris and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, who lashed out at his fellow Democrat over his record on criminal justice reform.
In the last debate, Harris criticized Biden over the way he spoke about segregationists and his approach to busing as a young senator — he was against it. Biden seemed ill-prepared for the moment and ultimately ceded the rest of his response, saying, “My time is up."
In an interview with CNN, the 76-year-old acknowledged that he was not ready for the attacks.
"I was prepared for them to come after me, but I wasn't prepared for the person coming at me the way she came at me," Biden told Chris Cuomo.
So when he told Harris to "go easy on me, kid," Twitter obviously had a response. Although some users chalked it up to being a typical Biden comment and a generational divide, others read it as condescending.
Some users read it as patronizing.
Even Harris's national press secretary, Ian Sams, was like, "Kid?"
Some people pointed out that although the term might have been a "Bidenism," it was still...not great.
"The most Biden thing to ever Biden."
Many users imagined Harris's response and were like, "Please don't, though, Kamala."
However, this user, who identified as an "old bugger," echoed the other side of the internet debate about the phrase, explaining that it's a term of an endearment.
Overall, most people agreed that "Go easy on me, kid" is something they would probably hear their grandfather say.