Biden Says Media Will Debunk Trump's Debate Claims ... Then Brings Out Debunked 'Lying Dog-Faced Pony Soldier' Quote


So, you’re Joe Biden. You’ve just gotten thoroughly trounced by Donald Trump on a debate stage in a manner that exposes your biggest weakness: your age.

You need to spin this. You need to find some way to assure supporters that, in the coming days, what they saw on Thursday night won’t be what voters will remember. Instead, they’ll be focused on your opponent’s perfidies.

So, what do you do? You drag out one of your most infamous campaign moments — which is indeed saying something, if you’re Joe Biden. You bring back “lying dog-faced pony soldier.”

In case you missed Thursday night’s debate under the assumption that nothing meaningful happens during these moderated shindigs anymore, who could blame you? After all, you probably had gainful employment to report to on Friday morning, and why did you need to sit through something that would end up leaving the race at status quo ante?

So basically, without going through everything that went wrong for Joe Biden, let me just give you one short video and one still shot, which do a good TL;DR summing up of the entire debacle:

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Is Joe Biden mentally fit to be president?

Biden was, throughout the affair, a mass of unthinking, pellucid human flesh, with eyes that stared out into space, looking for thoughts that weren’t there and words that would not come.

Talking points dropped from his mouth errantly, without any seeming order or cohesion. Freeze-ups and incoherent babbling occurred so often, most of us stopped counting. It was bad enough that CNN, hardly a bastion of anti-Biden sentiment, had its pundits openly wondering whether the Democrats would replace him at the top of the presidential ticket after the performance.

This, for any other leader but President Biden, would have been time to call it an early night. Get some rest, get ready to face the media tomorrow bushy-eyed and bright-tailed, or whatever that phrase the kids are using is; Corn Pop would know.

Instead, he faced supporters after the worst rhetorical moment of the 2024 presidential campaign for him … and dredged up arguably the worst moment of the 2020 presidential campaign for him.

“Look folks, you know, there uh — I shouldn’t say this, but my brother always uses lines from movies,” Biden said to supporters after the debate.

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“There was a famous movie with John Wayne in it, and he’s working for the, uh, the northern military, trying to get the Apaches back on the reservation. They were lyin’ like hell to him. They’re all sitting on a bluff.

“And John Wayne was sitting with two Indian — they were Apaches, and one of them looked at John Wayne and said, ‘These guys are nothing but lying dog-faced pony soldiers!'”

Yes! He went there! And he kept going!

“Look folks, what’s going to happen over the next couple of days is they’re, they’re going to be out there fact-checking all of the things he said,” Biden continued, speaking of Donald Trump. “I can’t think of one thing he said that was true!”

Yes, but that’s because one suspects you can’t think of one thing, period. The networks quickly cut away from the speech, and it’s not difficult to remember why. (Unless you’re the president, that is.)

See, Biden has told this story about the “lying dog-faced pony soldier” before. It is, from all appearances, from a John Wayne movie that doesn’t exist and in which those words were never spoken.

The most infamous “dog-faced pony soldier” moment came in New Hampshire during the 2020 campaign when he called a young woman “a lying dog-faced pony soldier” for saying she had participated in a caucus previously.

Now, even though John Wayne is one of the biggest stars in Hollywood history and Biden’s people gave the plot details of the movie where this was apparently uttered, multiple publications tried to track down the film in one way or another and came away empty — including Vox, the U.K. Independent, NBC News the U.K. Guardian, Slate, and Business Insider, inter alia.

The closest anyone seems to have come is a Tyrone Power movie titled “Pony Soldier,” in which Power — very much not John Wayne — was a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and is called something similar by a native chieftain: “The pony soldier speaks with the tongue of the snake that rattles.”

But John Wayne and “lying dog-faced pony soldier”? No, that’s pretty much a lie — unless, in four years, one of Biden’s weirdest, most infamous quotes somehow hasn’t been attached to its rightful source despite no shortage of attempts at it.

And what does he do right after — and I mean right after — he delivers a debate performance that has even CNN questioning whether he can continue as the Democratic nominee, so befuddled and diminished was he on stage? He brings back a more or less debunked quote to assure everyone his opponent will be debunked by the media, as if he didn’t even remember this was a thing once upon a time!

I’m not saying that Biden should ever reach back into his bag of rhetorical tricks and pull out this foul-smelling non-quote, but you know when you don’t do it? When even CNN is saying that you’ve all but blown up your presidency. Yes, it may be a small thing — but if you needed more proof that this man is terminally unfit to be the head pony soldier of the United States, this was it.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture