The Daily Show host Trevor Noah analyzed night two of the Democratic presidential debate and offered his take on the ten candidates who took the stage — Kamala Harris soared, Joe Biden sank, and Marianne Williamson confused.
Noah went live Thursday immediately after the two-hour debate to recap the most-talked about moments as part of his show’s “Votegasm 2020” election coverage.
For the Comedy Central star, one of the most striking moments happened when Harris attacked Biden’s voting record in the U.S. Senate. The tense back-and-forth came after author and lecturer Marianne Williamson brought up race. Sen. Harris (D-CA) seized control, saying: “As the only black person on this stage, I would like to speak on the issue of race.”
“Wow!” Noah quipped. “You know, people always accuse black people of playing the race card, but that was the right time to use the race card.”
[Watch the video above]
Harris, 54, a former California attorney general then turned to Biden, 76, and prosecuted him for opposing school busing and his recent remarks about working with segregationist senators earlier in his career.
“I do not believe you are a racist,” Harris began. “It was hurtful to hear you talk about the reputations of two United States senators who built their reputations and career on the segregation of race in this country. And it was not only that, but you also worked with them to oppose busing. And, you know, there was a little girl in California who was a part of the second class to integrate her public schools, and she was bused to school every day. And that little girl was me.”
“Holy shit. She just pulled an M. Night Shyamalan,” Noah joked. “She was black the whole movie! I didn’t see that coming, did you see that coming? That moment was so brutal on Joe Biden, for the first time I wanted to give him a massage. And it didn’t get any better from there.”
The comedian played a clip of Harris asking Biden if he now thinks he was wrong to oppose busing.
“I did not oppose busing in America. What I opposed is busing ordered by the Department of Education. That’s what I opposed,” he said, adding that he thought it should be a local decision.
Harris shot back: “That’s where the federal government must step in, that’s why we have the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act… because there are moments in history where states fail to preserve the civil rights of all people.”
Noah questioned if Biden could recover from the exchange.
“At this point, Kamala was busing Biden right out of the debate,” the comedian said. “You could tell Biden was pissed. You could tell that he was shook. You could tell that this had become Kamala Harris’ night, because Joe Biden did something that no one on that debate stage has ever done: He cut himself off.”
He then showed Biden defending his record before trailing off.
“I’m the guy that extended the voting rights act for 25 years! We got to the place where we got 98 out of 98 votes in the United States Senate doing it. I’ve also argued very strongly that we in fact deal with the notion of denying people access to the ballot box,” Biden said. “I agree that everybody once they — anyway, my time is up. I’m sorry.”
Noah concluded: “After what Kamala did to you tonight Joe Biden, your time might be up.”