Former Vice President Joe Biden uttered a line in Thursday night’s Democratic presidential debate that’s already being used against him on social media.

He said: “My time’s up.”

Biden was referring to his time on the debate clock, but to his critics, the 76-year-old may as well have been speaking about his time in national politics.

Biden had just come under a not-so-veiled attack about his age by Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), who recalled Biden speaking about passing the torch “to a new generation of Americans” at the 1988 Democratic National Convention:

“Joe Biden was right when he said it was time to pass the torch to a new generation of Americans 32 years ago,” Swalwell said. “He’s still right today.”

But Biden wasn’t having it.

“I’m still holding onto that torch,” he said.

If Biden was, he may have dropped it during his debate about race with Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.). Harris called out Biden for his recent comments about working with segregationists in the Senate and for his opposition to a federal program to bus students and integrate schools.

Given a 30-second warning, Biden ticked off his track record on civil rights and voting rights before running out of steam. Then he played moderator on himself.

“Anyway, my time’s up,” he said. “I’m sorry.”

Twitter critics noted it was a stark contrast to his comments about holding onto the torch, and many wondered if the “time’s up” line could come to define him and his campaign:

"Anyway, my time's up." – Joe Biden, laying down the truth. #DemocraticDebate

— Ankit Panda (@nktpnd) June 28, 2019

Biden's Torch #DemDebate

— Ann Telnaes (@AnnTelnaes) June 28, 2019

"My time is up, I'm sorry." Biden didn't even realize how true that was.

— Laura Bassett (@LEBassett) June 28, 2019

“I guess my time’s up.” The beginning of the end of @JoeBiden’s 2020 presidential campaign. Blow delivered passionately and skillfully by @KamalaHarris. #DemDebate

— Nell McCormack Abom (@nellabom) June 28, 2019

The quote that forever will define this debate:"Anyway, my time is up." — Joe Biden

— Will Bunch (@Will_Bunch) June 28, 2019

"My time is up" might be the realest thing Biden says tonight #DemDebate

— Fiddler (@cFidd) June 28, 2019

In a debate where everyone is fighting for time, you don't want to be the candidate that trails off and cuts your answer short by saying: "my time's up, I'm sorry."

— MJ Lee (@mj_lee) June 28, 2019

Joe Biden: " time's up"#DemDebate

— Rachel Dillon (@RaaachelDillon) June 28, 2019

“Oh, my time’s up.” Yes it is, Joe. Byeee! 🤣

— John Faneca (@JohnFaneca) June 28, 2019

When Biden eventually drops out of the race, “I’ll stop. My time’s up,” must be in his statement.

— Ilyssa Danielle (@ilyssa_danielle) June 28, 2019

Joe, your time is up. Take your torch and go home.

— Jeff Jarvis (@jeffjarvis) June 28, 2019

Biden just flamed out. “My time’s up”. Damn. Courtesy of Kamala Harris.

— Rod Anderson (@RC2DA) June 28, 2019

Biden literally said, “My time’s up”

— ıɥɔɐɥɔ (@Chachi) June 28, 2019

How many minutes passed between Biden saying "I'm holding onto that torch" and "My time's up."

— Chris Rasa (@SpinningSkull) June 28, 2019

.@JoeBiden saying “my time’s up” is a cowardly cop out. You opposed busing PERIOD you were a segregationist. Your time has BEEN up! #DemDebate

— Mckayla Wilkes for Congress (@MeetMckayla) June 28, 2019

Tonight's two key, race-defining moments."That little girl was me.""My time's up…"

— Jane C. Timm (@janestreet) June 28, 2019

Best statement by @JoeBiden tonight: "My Time Is Up."#DemDebate2

— Latino Political Ave (@LatPoliticalAve) June 28, 2019

.@JoeBiden's new campaign slogan was debuted tonight…."My time is up." Thank you VP Biden for admitting the obvious #DemDebate2

— Jordan (@JordanChariton) June 28, 2019 Download REAL LIFE. REAL NEWS. REAL VOICES. Help us tell more of the stories that matter from voices that too often remain unheard. Join HuffPost Plus

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