Biden, 'surprised' by Obama criticisms during Democratic debate, goes on defense

The former vice president defended against criticisms of Obamacare and Obama's deportation policies, to which he said that "the world has changed since Obama."
3:18 | 08/02/19

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Transcript for Biden, 'surprised' by Obama criticisms during Democratic debate, goes on defense
arrangements to send me back, she went back with me." Kyra, thank you. And last night, the Democrats were debating about those issues, but its former vice president Joe Biden who is now fighting back tonight, after taking incoming fire on that they know right now Biden is the front-runner. Our Mary Bruce tonight asking the questions today with the former vice president. Reporter: In Michigan today, Joe Biden said he was taken aback to see his democratic rivals going after former president Barack Obama. I was a little surprised at how much the incoming was about Barack, about the president. I mean, I'm proud of having served with him. I'm proud of the job he did. Reporter: On the debate stage, Biden, under constant attack, forced to defend Obama's policies on deportations. If you cross the border illegally, you should be able to be sent back. It's a crime. First of all, Mr. Vice president, it looks like one of us has learned the lessons of the past and one of us hasn't. Did you say those deportations were a good idea? Or did you go to the president and say this is a mistake, we shouldn't do it? Which one? I was vice president. I am not the president. I keep my recommendation in private. You invoke president Obama more than anybody in this campaign. You can't do it when it's convenient and then dodge it when it's not. Reporter: Today, Biden defending the former president. Voters want to know how you're going to be different than another four years of Barack Obama. On immigration, for instance, what are you going to do differently from Obama? The world has changed since Obama. He focused on immigration. And what he did was serious. He changed the dialogue. He changed the whole question. He changed what was going on. And the idea that somehow it's comparable to what this guy is doing is absolutely bizarre. Reporter: Biden is also standing up for Obamacare, after his plan to build on it came under repeated attack from senator kamala Harris. For a Democrat to be running for president with a plan that does not cover everyone, I think, is without excuse. Reporter: Biden firing back that Harris' own health care plan will take too long. Any time someone tells you you're going to get something good in ten years, you should wonder why it takes ten years. Reporter: You did spend a lot of time last night attacking Joe Biden on his health care plan. Any concern that your plan and your proposal got lost? Your message got lost in all of the attacks? It's a complicated issue, when you get into the details. So, obviously, a debate where you can talk for seconds is probably not the best venue to actually describe the detail of it. I'm going to be very honest with you, it can be a frustrating process. Reporter: And Harris found herself under attack, too. She put over 1,500 people in jail for marijuana violations and then laughed about it when she was asked if she ever smoked marijuana. As the elected attorney general of California, I did the work of significantly reforming the criminal justice system of a state of 40 million people. So, let's get to Mary Bruce, again live tonight in Detroit. And Mary, these debates are highlighting the division within the democratic party and these candidates. But today, it seemed clear that the former vice president is saying he's the one that can win both Progressives at one end and trump voters, as well. Reporter: Well, David, while his democratic rivals are arguing over the future of the party, Biden is arguing he is the most electable candidate. He promised he can deliver states like Ohio, Pennsylvania Mary Bruce, thank you. And we do have a sad update

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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