Former Vice President Joe Biden imitated a stuttering child during Thursday evening’s Democrat presidential primary debate.
The bizarre moment occurred when it was Biden’s turn to respond to the evening’s final question: Would you give a gift or ask for forgiveness this holiday season?
Biden began his response by stating that he and his wife, former second lady Jill Biden, have a “call list” ranging from 20 to 100 people whom they speak to each month. “I give them my private cell number. They keep in touch with me,” the former vice president explained.
Biden then recounted a call he had with a young boy with a stutter. “I can’t talk, what do I do?” the former vice president recalled the boy telling him, mimicking his stutter by saying “I” repeatedly.
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) December 20, 2019
“I have scores of these young women and men who I keep in contact with. And the reason I would give everyone here a gift is because they want to do something like I do, making their lives better because there’s a lot of people who are hurting very, very, very badly,” he added.
Biden has repeatedly evoked past memories of his own childhood stutter and has spoken to others who suffer from the speech impediment while on the campaign trail.
At an August campaign stop in Keene, New Hampshire, a young man struck up a conversation with Biden and explained how he suffered from a stutter.
“You know, I used to be a very bad stutterer. I’ve spoken a lot about it,” the vice president told him. “It does not define you. It cannot define you.” He then asked for the young man’s phone number.
Biden’s stutter persisted into his early twenties until he overcame the impediment by spending hours reciting poetry in front of a mirror.
“I used to stutter badly when I was a kid. So, I learned to fight. Not a joke,” Biden told supporters at a town hall in Decorah, Iowa, earlier this month. “When you’re made fun of for something you can’t control, you realize everybody has something about them they can’t fully control.”