2020 Democratic candidate Joe Biden attacked a voter during a town hall in Iowa on Thursday after he brought up Biden’s age and his son Hunter’s ties to the Ukrainian gas company Burisma.
The unidentified voter, who said he was not a Republican, told 77-year-old Biden he had “two problems” with him as a candidate; the first one being his age, and the other being Hunter Biden’s involvement with Burisma, a Ukrainian gas the former veep’s son previously worked for.
The man acknowledged President Donald Trump’s scheme to pressure Ukraine into announcing an investigation into Biden, but he accused Biden of similarly abusing his power as vice president in Ukraine (there is no evidence Biden nor his son have done anything wrong).
“You’re selling access to the President just like he is,” the voter said.
“You’re a damn liar, man,” Biden snapped. “That’s not true. And no one has ever said that, no one has proved that.”
“I’ve seen it on the TV,” the voter responded.
“You’ve seen it on the TV,” Biden retorted. “No, I know you do. And by the way, that’s why I’m not sedentary.”
He proceeded to challenge the man to a fitness contest: “Let’s do push-ups together here, man. Let’s run. Let’s do whatever you wanna do.”
When Biden reiterated that he nor his son had done anything wrong, the voter cut in.
“I didn’t say you were doing anything wrong,” the man shouted.
“You said I set up my son to work at an oil company,” Biden yelled back. “Isn’t that what you said? Get your words straight, Jack.”
After more heated back-and-forth between the two men, Biden said, “Look fat, look, here’s the deal, here’s the deal-”
“It looks like you don’t have any more backbone than Trump does,” the voter said, eliciting boos from the rest of the audience.
“Any other questions?” Biden asked the room.
“I’m not voting for you,” the voter told the candidate.
“Well I knew you weren’t. You think I thought you’d stand up and vote for me? You’re too old to vote for me,” Biden said.
Shortly after footage of the shouting match went viral, Biden campaign adviser Symone Sanders defended the candidate’s comments.
“The reality is this – a reference was made to the ‘news’ today and I think we all know which outlet has continued to peddle the debunked conspiracy theories cooked up by Trump and Rudy Guiliani about Ukraine,” she tweeted. “These lies will not go unchecked & we’ll continue to lay out the facts.”
Sanders also denied accusations that Biden had mocked the man’s weight, claiming Biden had said “Look, facts,” not “Look, fat.”