Former VP Joe Biden, who was trounced in the Iowa caucasues, and looks to do almost as bad, if not worse in New Hampshire, has said that an insult he hurled at a voter before voting began in that state, was “just a joke.”
A spokesperson for Joe Biden’s presidential campaign dismissed backlash after the former vice president called a voter a “lying, dog-faced pony soldier.”
Madison Moore, a 21-year-old college student at Mercer University, attended a Biden rally on Sunday in Hampton, New Hampshire, and asked why Democrats should feel confident supporting him after a disappointing fourth-place finish in the Iowa caucuses. Biden’s response was to name-call Moore after saying she lied about previously attending a caucus.
Symone Sanders, a senior campaign adviser, sought to minimize the interaction during an MSNBC interview on Andrea Mitchell Reports the day after the insult.
“It was a joke,” she explained. “Many people in the room laughed. Many people in the room laughed. And it was a line he has actually used frequently, which is from a John Wayne movie. But look, Andrea, I think the reality here is there is not a better retail politician than Joe Biden. I think his ability to reconnect with folks was frankly on display last Wednesday at a town hall on another network. His empathy emanated from him. People were drawn in as he talked about his struggles with a stutter as a young child and how he helps young children now and other individuals and keeps in touch with them.”
Biden’s remark appears to be a reference to the 1953 John Wayne movie Hondo.
“A lot of what he’s saying seems to be really sad,” Moore said about the interaction to Fox News. “We had heard a lot about deaths and cancer and people losing their jobs, and to me, he doesn’t really seem very solution-oriented.”
The interaction took place days before the New Hampshire primary, which took place on Tuesday.