Biden aims at at start of debate

During Wednesday night’s Democratic debate in Detroit, former Vice President Joe Biden directed his opening statement at President .

“I’m running for president to restore the soul of this country,” Biden said, repeating a message from his 

.

“We have a president who, as everybody’s acknowledged here, every day is ripping into [the] social fabric of this country. But no one man has the capacity to rip that apart. It’s too strong, we’re too good.”

He pointed to the diversity on the debate stage, where all Democratic candidates of color were present.

“Mr. President, this is America,” Biden said, prompting applause from the audience. “And we are strong and great because of this diversity, Mr. President. Not in spite of it, Mr. President.”

Joe Biden (Photo: Jim WATSON / AFP)

Joe Biden (Photo: Jim WATSON / AFP)

Joe Biden (Photo: Jim WATSON / AFP)

Biden, the Democratic frontrunner, brought up ’s latest attacks against “the Squad” of Democratic freshmen — four women of color who he said should “go back” to the “crime infested places from which they came” — and the president’s tweets about House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, whose majority-black district he called a “

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“Mr. President, let’s get something straight,” Biden said, “We love it. We are not leaving it. We are here to stay and we are certainly not going to leave it to you.”

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