Democratic frontrunner and former vice president Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris met for the first time at CNN’s Democratic debate and he was plunged into hot water when he called her a “kid” after they shook hands at the start of their second encounter.

As the California senator walked to the stage of the Fox Theatre in Detroit to shake Biden’s hand, he can be heard telling the 53-year-old congresswoman:

Go easy on me, kid.

Harris appears to smile at Mr Biden before she's heard to simply say: “How are you doing, you good?’

Kamala Harris' press secretary was one of the first to raise eyebrows over the word

Many viewers online cringed at Biden’s words and thought they were patronising.

Biden was "obnoxious"

"Bet you $100 she didn't think it was funny

Why should Harris go easy on the former vice president, anyway?

There were some who insisted it was merely a term of endearment

Even those who didn't think Biden was being intentionally rude, sighed

Would Biden have called a male colleague a "kid"?

Kamala Harris eventually responded to the backlash generated by Biden's words

"I didn’t really think much about it,” she said.

We’re both on that stage running for president … nobody’s going to define me on that stage.

Too busy slayin'

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