Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden on Thursday called a man in Iowa a “damn liar,” “fat” and “too old to vote for me” after the man accused Biden of getting his son Hunter a job with a Ukrainian gas company in exchange for access to the Obama administration.
“You’re a damn liar, and that’s not true,” Biden snapped at the man during a campaign event in New Hampton, Iowa, as an audience of adults and children looked on.
The former vice president Biden then challenged the man — who had also questioned Biden’s fitness for the White House given his age — to feats of strength, endurance and intelligence.
“I’m not sedentary,” said the 77-year-old Biden. “You want to check my shape on, let’s do push ups together, let’s run, let’s do whatever you want to do, let’s take an IQ test.”
Biden spokeswoman Symone Sanders later claimed that Biden said, “Look, facts,” not “Look, fat,” referring to the man, even though audio of the remark clearly sounds like “fat.”
Sanders said in a tweet that “the gentleman is a self-identified Warren supporter who said he would vote for the VP in a general election … his facts were flat-out wrong and .. the crowd backed VP Biden up in his response.”
“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,'” Sanders said.
“If you’ve been to a Biden event, you’ve heard this before.”
The man, who refused to identify himself to NBC News, later told a reporter he would vote for Biden if he is wins the Democratic nomination for president.
The man said, “God no,” when asked if he would vote for President Donald Trump.
“No, he’s a first-class a–hole,” the man said.
The man ignited Biden’s ire with a comment that referenced President Donald Trump’s pressuring of Ukraine last summer to investigate Biden and Hunter Biden in connection with Hunter’s position on the board of the the natural gas company Burisma.
Trump withheld congressionally appropriated military aid to Ukraine as he pressed that nation to investigate, an act that led to ongoing impeachment proceedings in the House against Trump.
“OK, I’ve got two problems with you,” said the man after introducing himself as an “old, Iowa retired farmer.”
“One, you’re damn near as old as I am. You’re too old for the job. I am 83 and I know damn well I don’t have the mental faculties I did when I was 30 years ago. All right … forget that stuff.”
“I got a question I want you to answer,” said the man.
“We all know Trump has been messing around in Ukraine over there, holding their foreign aid for them to come up saying they’re going to investigate you. We know all about that. He’s no backbone. We know that,” the man said.
“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. You’re selling access to the president just like he does …”
Biden then shot back.
“You’re a damn liar, man!” Biden said. “That’s not true and no one has ever said that. No one has proved that.”
“I see it on the TV,” the man said.
Biden said, “No one has said my son has done anything wrong and I did not on any occasion.”
When the man interjected, “I didn’t say you were doing anything wrong,” Biden became angrier.
“You said I set up my son to work in an oil company. Isn’t that what you said? Get your words straight, Jack,” Biden said.
When the man said he had heard the claim on MSNBC, Biden snapped: “You don’t hear that on MSNBC.”
“You do not hear that at all,” Biden said. “Look, OK, I’m not going to get into an argument with you, man.”
When the man said, “I don’t want to either,” Biden said, “Well, yeah, you do.”
“But look, fat, here’s the deal,” Biden said.
The man then said, “It looks, it looks like you don’t have any more backbone than Trump does.”
Biden said to the crowd then: “Any other questions?”
“Yeah, all right. I’m not voting for you,” the man said.
Biden replied, “I knew you weren’t, man.”
“You think I’d thought you’d stand up and vote for me? You’re too old to vote for me.”
But during an interview with NBC News later, the man, when asked who he vote for as president in 2020, said, “I’ll more than likely support the Democratic nominee.”
“Even if it’s Joe Biden?” the reporter asked.
“Even if it’s him. I’ll have to,” the man replied. “Because I can’t vote for Trump, if it’s Trump.”
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