Biden Senior Adviser Hypes Viral Confrontation with Iowa Voter: ‘That’s the Kind of Fire that We Need’

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a meeting with local residents, Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019, in Carroll, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Charlie Neibergall/AP Photo

Symone Sanders, a senior campaign adviser to Joe Biden’s (D) campaign, suggested on Tuesday that Biden’s viral confrontation with an Iowa voter is proof that the former vice president can take on Trump and added that it is “the kind of fire we need.”

Sanders spoke at Politico’s Women Rule Summit on Tuesday and approached Biden’s controversial war of words with an Iowa voter — a confrontation that involved Biden challenging the man to a push-up contest and seemingly calling him “fat” — with a dose of levity, suggesting that the fiery exchange proves that Biden can take Trump head-on.

“That’s the kind of fire that we need,” she said.

“So if anyone is wondering if Joe Biden can take on Donald Trump, and he’s ready for a fight, I point you to the video in Iowa,” she added.

The exchange took place at a town hall last week after an Iowa voter cast doubt on Biden’s age and suggested he was “selling access to the president” with Hunter Biden’s role on the board of Burisma Holdings.

He said:

We all know Trump has been messing around in Ukraine over there holding their foreign aid for them to come up saying they are going to investigate you. We all know about that.

But you, on the other hand, sent your son over there to get a job and work for a gas company that he had no experience with gas or nothing in order to get access for the president. So you are selling access to the president just like he was.

Biden called the man a “damn liar” and challenged him to a push-up contest. He also, at one point, seemingly called him “fat”:

The voter added, “I see it on the TV.”

Biden said, “You see it on the TV. No, I know you do. And by the way, I’m not sedentary. I get up. … Let him go. Let him go. Look, the reason I’m running is because I’ve been around a long time, and I know more than most people know, and I can get things done. That’s why I’m running. You want to check my shape on let’s do push-ups together, let’s run, let’s do whatever you want to do number one. Number two no one has said my son did anything wrong and I did not on any occasion—”

The voter said, “I didn’t say you were doing anything wrong.”

Biden said, “You said I set my son up to work at an oil company. Isn’t that what you said? Get your words straight jack.”

The voter said, “That’s what I hear on MSNBC.”

Biden said, “You don’t hear that on MSNBC.”

The voter said, “The hell I do.”

Biden said, “Look, I’m not going to get in an argument with you.”

The voter said, “I don’t want to either.”

Biden said, “Well yeah you do but look, fat, here’s the deal—”

The voter added, “It looks like you don’t have any more backbone than Trump does.”

Sanders quickly came to Biden’s defense, denying that Biden called the man “fat.”

“To be clear: Any assertion VP Biden said a word about the gentleman’s appearance is making this something it is not. In the latter part of the exchange, the VP began to say ‘Look, facts’ then said ‘here’s the deal,’” she wrote following the viral exchange:

The former vice president has since admitted that he “probably shouldn’t have challenged him to push-ups”:

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