A young woman asked Joe Biden why he had performed so poorly in the Iowa caucus and instead of getting an answer, she got name-called by the presidential candidate.
Biden ranked fourth in the Iowa caucuses. Madison Moore, an economics student at Mercer University, asked the former vice president during a campaign stop in New Hampshire why people should vote for him under the circumstances.
Biden responded, “Iowa’s a caucus. Have you ever been to a caucus?” Moore nodded yes, according to the New York Post which posted a video of the exchange.
“No, you haven’t,” Biden responded. “You’re a lying dog-faced pony soldier.”
The crowd laughed and a video circulated on Twitter. Biden has used the line before and attributes it to a John Wayne movie, “Hondo.”
The exchange with the former vice president was humiliating, Moore, 21, told the Macon Telegraph. Treating it like joke was “kind of insulting,” she said.
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“Instead of answering that question straightforward, his immediate response was to attempt to invalidate me by exposing my inexperience,” she said. “It was kind of humiliating to be called a liar on national TV by the former vice president.”
Moore said she was nervous when Biden asked if she’d been to a caucus and nodded yes. She hasn’t been to a caucus and said she felt it was irrelevant to her question.
“He has been performing extremely poorly in this race and the fact that he couldn’t just straight answer my question without bullying or intimidating just exacerbates that fact,” Moore told the Telegraph.
Biden has made headlines before for not answering the question. At the December Democratic debate, he evaded a question about reparations. Asked if he supported reparations, he instead praised the hard work of immigrants.
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It’s also not the first time he called someone a liar. In December, Biden called an 83-year-old Iowa farmer Merle Gorman a “damn liar” for accusing him of selling access to Ukraine, NY Post reported.
Biden’s personal style of communication, including his tendency to physically touch people, has been controversial. Former Nevada state Assemblywoman Lucy Flores wrote that the former vice president made her feel “uneasy, gross, and confused” when he rubbed her shoulders and kissed her head in 2014, HuffPost reported. Biden apologized and said he would be more mindful of people’s space.
In recent Biden stump speeches, attendees have lined up for handshakes, hugs, selfies, kisses and the occasional poke in the chest. And they seem to love it.
Others find his behavior rude.
“Why is Joe Biden acting so rude? Perhaps because he has had to curb his notoriously ‘affectionate, physical‘ campaigning style, which some pundits have euphemistically referred to as ‘tactile politics‘,” wrote Nick West, a critic of the so-called “Democratic Party establishment dysfunction.”