Best Democratic debate memes, night 2: Biden beatdown and the 'Asian man who likes math'

Cloroxing the Oval Office and dipping into the Kool-Aid. Plus, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris go at it. And at it. That's no malarkey.

Gael Fashingbauer Cooper
CNET freelancer Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
Gael Fashingbauer Cooper
3 min read
Democratic Presidential Candidates Debate In Detroit Over Two Nights

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden listens while Sen. Kamala Harris speaks during the Democratic presidential debate Wednesday night.

Getty Images

The second group of Democratic presidential candidates took the stage Wednesday night after 10 of their competitors did the same on Tuesday. And who knew Kool-Aid and Clorox should have bought ad time?

Night two featured former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Kamala Harris, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Gov. Jay Inslee, businessman Andrew Yang, Sen. Cory Booker, former HUD secretary Julián Castro, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Sen. Michael Bennet.

Tuesday night's event featured Sen. Bernie Sanders telling Sen. Tim Ryan that "I wrote the damn bill!" and author Marianne Williamson earning social buzz for citing the "dark psychic force of collectivized hatred."

What grabbed people's attention Wednesday? Here we go. 

Chanting call-out

During Sen. Cory Booker's introductory statement, a chant could be heard from audience members at Detroit's Fox Theatre. It was hard to make out what the chanters were saying. Journalist Josh Dawsey tweeted that the chant didn't seem to be aimed at Booker.

"Whole debate interrupted with "FIRE PANTALEO" chants aimed at de Blasio," he wrote in a tweet. "Pantaleo is the Staten Island cop involved in Eric Garner death."

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has come under fire for "declining to support demands by Mr. Garner's family for the Police Department to dismiss the officer," the New York Times reported recently. Garner was allegedly choked by NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo five years ago on New York's Staten Island.

Many debate viewers simply couldn't understand what was being said. "I heard 'fire canned tomatoes,'" one tweeted. Wrote another, "They were demanding Pluto be reinstated as a planet."

And others were confused as to why the chanters chose to make their point during Booker's time to speak, not de Blasio's.

Mathletes forever

Entrepreneur Andrew Yang earned applause and laughter when he referred to himself as the "opposite of Donald Trump, an Asian man who likes math." The description went over well on Twitter. Wrote Richard Cho, "I just learned that I am the opposite of Donald Trump."

The Harris/Biden show

Former Vice President Biden and Sen. Harris clashed back at the first debate series in June, and to no one's surprise, they were back at it Wednesday night. That left some wondering who else was on stage.

Biden, watch your back

The former vice president might be the best-known candidate, but that only made him the biggest target. He was hearing criticism from all sides, and Twitter users noticed.

Malarkey has its moment 

Biden used one of his favorite phrases Wednesday night, declaring that it was "a bunch of malarkey" to say opposition to Medicare for All was a Republican concept. Social media immediately loved the slightly vintage word "malarkey," and ran with it. "We have our first 'malarkey' of the night, finish your drink," one person tweeted. Joked another, "Peak shenanigans."

Clorox cleans up

Clorox bleach earned a surprising bit of product placement during the debate when Sen. Kristen Gillibrand snarked that the first thing she'd do as president would be to "Clorox the Oval Office." Social media quickly started scrubbing.

Drink the Kool-Aid

Sen. Cory Booker and Biden were arguing about criminal-justice problems when Booker invoked an iconic American drink.

"Mr. Vice President, there's a saying in my community: 'You're dipping into the Kool-Aid and you don't even know the flavor,'" Booker said.

Someone from Kool-Aid corporate's social-media department was watching and responded with its pitcher mascot and his favorite saying: "OH YEAH!"

Twitter quickly filled up with Kool-Aid pitchers smashing through walls and other related jokes.

Some liked Booker's use of the phrase, while others questioned it.

Biden's confusing website

Being beat down and ganged up on by the rest of the panel was bad enough for Biden, but there was one last faux pax. He garbled his attempt to plug his campaign website. Or was it a phone number? It was tough to tell.

The internet was not gonna let that one slide.

Biden was trying to direct people to a phone number, where they could subscribe and receive regular updates through text presumably, but it ended up being extremely confusing to all listening.

Someone, presumably not a Biden fan, quickly bought the borked web address and directed it elsewhere...

I don't know about you, but I feel bad for ol' Biden. It reminds me of trying to set up a Facebook account for my dad.

Originally published July 31.