- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden on Monday questioned whether Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, one of his top rivals for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, is truly generating “enthusiasm” among voters on the campaign trail.

He also accused Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, of stealing his health care policy proposals.

“Tell me where this great enthusiasm is manifesting itself?” Mr. Biden said to reporters traveling with him in Iowa, according to the Wall Street Journal.

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Told that Ms. Warren is indeed enjoying enthusiasm in the Hawkeye State, Mr. Biden said: “You don’t see that with Warren. Stop kidding a kidder, OK? C’mon, man. Give me a break.”

When he was told that Ms. Warren recently staged a large rally in Chicago, Mr. Biden said: “Chicago? Oh great, big showing in Chicago. By the way, that’s a wonderful thing.”

Mr. Biden, who is fighting to stay among the top tier of 2020 Democratic contenders, also said Mr. Buttigieg “stole” his health care proposal.

Mr. Biden said that Mr. Buttigieg “doesn’t have the enthusiasm of the moderates, c’mon guys … the moderate plan. It’s the Biden plan.”

Both candidates have called for a “public option” to compete with private health insurance plans, rather than a universal “Medicare for All” system championed by candidates such as Ms. Warren and Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont.

Mr. Buttigieg’s team responded by saying the mayor had been talking about health care since he entered the race in January, months before Mr. Biden jumped in.

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