Former Vice President Joe Biden jokingly referred to a New Hampshire voter as a “lying, dog-faced pony soldier” after facing a tough question over his electability.
Biden, who has been known to get snippy on the campaign trail when asked about topics he does not like, made the comment during a town hall in Hampton, New Hampshire, on Sunday when asked “a mean” question by a female economics student.
“So you’re arguably the candidate with the greatest advantage in this race,” the student said, listing off Biden’s attributes. “How do you explain your performance in Iowa, and why should voters believe that you can win a national election?”
Biden began his response by taking off his jacket, as if jokingly preparing for a physical brawl, before claiming it was a “good question.” Instead of giving a direct answer, though, the former vice president proceeded to dismiss the Iowa Caucuses, where he came in fourth, as unrepresentative of the real state of the 2020 contest.
“You ever been to a caucus?” Biden asked. When the student claimed she had, the former vice president asserted she must have been mistaken. “No, you haven’t. You’re a lying, dog-faced pony soldier.”
“You’ve got to be honest; I’m going to be honest with you,” Biden continued. “It was a little bit confusing in Iowa, but let’s assume everything was exactly right … [the results do not] necessarily say how you’re going to win Pennsylvania, how you’re going to win Michigan.”
The interaction comes as Biden struggles to gain momentum after his poor showing in Iowa. Another fourth-place finish, this time in the New Hampshire primary, is likely to sap the former vice president’s campaign of media coverage at a time it faces a looming cash crunch.
Biden’s mood on the campaign trail has not helped the situation. Although his remarks on Sunday were lighthearted, they recall other tense altercations the former vice president has gotten himself into with voters in recent weeks.
Most notably, during a last-ditch effort to revive his campaign in Iowa last month, Biden drew attention for pushing an elderly voter and telling the man to “go vote for someone else” over a disagreement on climate change.