Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Sunday called a young woman a “lying dog-faced pony soldier” after she asked about his fourth-place finish in the Iowa caucuses.
In a video of the encounter, which took place Sunday as the former vice president was campaigning ahead of Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary, Madison Moore, 21, of Mercer University in Georgia said Biden had “the greatest advantage in this race. You’ve been the vice president, you weren’t burdened down by the impeachment trial … so how do you explain the performance in Iowa and why should voters believe that you can win the national election?”
“That’s a good question,” Biden replied. “Iowa was a Democratic caucus. Have you ever been to a caucus?”
When the woman indicated she had, he shot back, “No, you haven’t. You’re a lying dog-faced pony soldier.”
His campaign later said the line was from a John Wayne movie.
Like Olivia notes, it’s a joke that was met with…. drumroll… laughter in the room and from the questioner. It’s from a John Wayne movie and he’s made it plenty of times before. Sorry to ruin the fun twitter! https://t.co/XIbn8wF53W https://t.co/5D0Kk06RGK
— Remi Yamamoto (@RemiMYamamoto) February 9, 2020
Slate sought to track that down and found no use of that exact line. The closest it could come up with was from “Pony Soldier,” a 1952 film starring not Wayne but Tyrone Power, in which an Indian chief says, “The pony soldier speaks with a tongue of the snake that rattles.”
The outlet noted that Biden had used the line before during a 2018 campaign event for Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota.
Many on Twitter thought that wherever the words came from, Biden was out of line to use them Sunday.
Imagine that @realDonaldTrump rebuked a woman—when she said she had attended a political caucus—by saying she was a “lying dog faced pony soldier.” It would be MSM headlines. But @JoeBiden said it. So never mind. #maga2020.
— Victoria Toensing (@VicToensing) February 10, 2020
It’s still offensive. I’m a middle-aged women and never heard the quote. If someone said that to me I’d be upset. It doesn’t matter if he said it plenty of times before, it doesn’t make it OKAY just because it’s Joe being Joe. Joe needs to live in the present.
— Linda Goldberg (@ChefLindaBoston) February 10, 2020
Tonight’s #Oscar for craziest quote by a Presidential Candidate:
Joe Biden calls a woman a “lying dog-faced pony soldier” https://t.co/swzY8EsCIm
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) February 10, 2020
Moore later told The Washington Post she was not trying to be mean.
“I read an article that he said [Iowa] was a punch to the gut, and I’m not one to just push on wounds,” she said. “I’m not trying to humiliate anyone.
“He wasn’t sitting in at the Senate trials for impeachment, so he had Iowa to himself. And then you’ve been a politician for like decades — how are you not way above all the other candidates?”
Moore also sent the Post a statement about the “lying dog-faced pony soldier” incident.
“I asked Joe Biden a fair question,” she said. “His immediate response was to question whether I had ever attended a caucus. In my nervousness in the presence of the former Vice President, I nodded yes.
“[I]n reality, it is totally irrelevant whether I’ve been to a caucus or not. Joe Biden has been performing incredibly poorly in this race. His inability to answer a simple question from a nobody college student like me only exacerbates that reality.”
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