A senior Joe Biden campaign adviser is denying the former vice president called a voter a “fat” during a tense exchange at an event in New Hampton, Iowa, Thursday.
The incident in question occurred as Biden took a questioned from a voter regarding his son, Hunter Biden, and his board membership of Burisma Holdings, a Ukraine energy giant dodged by allegations of corruption.
A partial transcript is as follows:
VOTER: We all know Trump has been messing around in Ukraine over there holding there 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: You’re a damn liar, man. That’s not true. And no one has ever said that.
VOTER: I see it on the TV.
BIDEN: 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 now 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 has done anything wrong and I did not on any occasion — and no one has ever said it. Not one—
VOTER: I didn’t say you were doing anything wrong.
BIDEN: You said I set my son up to work at an oil company. Isn’t that want you said? Get your words straight, Jack.
VOTER: That’s what I hear on MSNBC.
BIDEN: You don’t hear that on MSNBC.
VOTER: The hell I do.
BIDEN: Look, okay, I’m not going to get in an argument with you, man.
VOTER: I don’t want to either.
BIDEN: Well yeah, you do, but look, fat, here’s the deal—.
Aide Symone Sanders to took Twitter following the exchange to deny Biden had insulted the man, claiming the former vice president said “facts” — a term she asserted was one the candidate has used on the campaign trail.
“Let’s be clear RE: the exchange VP Biden had with a voter in Iowa earlier today: 1) the gentleman is a self-identified Warren supporter who said he would vote for the VP in a general election 2) his facts were flat-out wrong and 3) the crowd backed VP Biden up in his response,” Sanders wrote. “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.” If you’ve been to a Biden event, you’ve heard this before.”
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.” If you’ve been to a Biden event, you’ve heard this before.
— Symone D. Sanders (@SymoneDSanders) December 5, 2019
Following the event, the Washington Examiner’s Emily Larsen reported that the man who tangled with Biden said he was a registered independent and called the former vice president “senile.” Footage from Larsen shows the man nearly getting into a physical fight with another voter over the exchange, though he managed to deescalate the situation.
The voter who got in a confrontation with Biden — who refused to give his name but said he is a registered independent — almost got in a fight with another voter after the event. He also said Biden is “senile, anyhow” https://t.co/DyMpBoxF2E pic.twitter.com/8cWzYbwt7m
— Emily Larsen (@emilyelarsen) December 5, 2019