Joe Biden Mocks Reporter’s Question About Sanders Feud: ‘Why, Why, Why, Why, Why, Why, Why?’

CBS News

Former Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday mockingly imitated a journalist for repeatedly asking him about his brewing feud with presidential rival Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) following a campaign event in Mason City, Iowa.

The incident began when CBS reporter Ed O’Keefe asked Biden why he attacked Sanders after accepting his apology for an unofficial surrogate’s blistering op-ed slamming him as a deeply flawed candidate with a corruption issue. When O’Keefe asked why the senator’s apology wasn’t sufficient, Biden turned around and replied: “why, why, why, why, why, why, why!?”

“You’re getting nervous, man,” the former vice president continued. “Calm down, it’s okay.”

Biden then explained that Sanders only apologized for being accused of corruption and refused to correct about whether he supported cuts to Social Security. After the 2020 Democrat frontrunner finished his answer, he gently thumped his fist on the reporter’s chest and walked away.

On Tuesday evening, Sanders tweeted: “Let’s be honest, Joe. One of us fought for decades to cut Social Security, and one of us didn’t. But don’t take it from me. Take it from you.”

The tweet featured a video clip of Biden, then a senator from Deleware, making a speech on the upper chamber floor’s in 1995, saying: “When I argued that we should freeze federal spending, I meant Social Security as well. I meant Medicare and Medicaid. I meant veterans’ benefits. I meant every single solitary thing in the government. And I not only tried it once — I tried it twice. I tried it a third time, and I tried it a fourth time.”

The video seemingly came in response to Biden declaring earlier Tuesday at a campaign event that he won’t make any cuts to social security if elected to the White House.

In response to Sanders’ video, Biden wrote on Twitter: “I’ve been fighting to protect — and expand — Social Security for my whole career. Any suggestion otherwise is just flat-out wrong. Bernie’s negative attacks won’t change the truth: Joe Biden is still the strongest Democrat to beat Donald Trump.”

The latest barbed exchange comes after Biden accused the Sanders campaign of spreading a “doctored” 2012 video of him, in which it appears the former vice president says he supports then-Rep. Paul Ryan’s plan to cut social security. The Biden campaign has argued that the remarks were sarcastic.

“But it is simply a lie, that video that is going around, and ask anybody in the press, it’s a flat lie. They’ve acknowledged that this is a doctored tape,” Biden said. “And I think it’s beneath him, and I’m looking for his campaign to come forward and disown it, but they haven’t done it yet.”

On Sunday, Sanders issued a statement to CBS News about the incident, but did not apologize for the video. “[Joe] is a decent person. He is a friend of mine. People like him. And we’re not going to make personal attacks on Joe Biden but I think the record shows that Joe’s history in the Senate and my history in Congress are very different,” he said.


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