Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden has offered a bizarre response to a woman who asked about his poor Iowa caucus performance.
During an event in New Hampshire, where the first democratic primaries will take place on Tuesday, a woman voter in the audience asked the question: “How do you explain the performance in Iowa, and why should voters believe that you can win the national election?”
Mr Biden, who served as US vice president during Barack Obama’s presidency, asked the woman if she had ever attended a caucus, to which she signalled that she had.
The Democrat then hit back, saying: “No, you haven’t. You’re a lying dog-faced pony soldier.”
He later conceded that he had been asked an honest question.
Mr Biden came fourth in the Iowa caucus, way behind democratic rivals Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, leading people to ask whether he could seriously beat his opponents in the race for the party’s nomination.
He had used the response before in 2018, and adds that it is a quote from the John Wayne film Hondo. A search of the script does show separate references to lying and pony soldiers – but none for “dog-faced”.
More from Joe Biden
Michael Bloomberg: Former New York mayor expected to enter presidential race
Trump impeachment inquiry: Top US diplomat changes tune while giving evidence
Joe Biden’s son Hunter steps down from Chinese firm amid Trump controversy
Joe Biden: Donald Trump has betrayed nation and should be impeached
Trump ‘broke oath of office’ by calling for China to investigate Bidens
Trump says intelligence chair ‘made up’ details of Ukraine call
Madison Moore, the woman who asked the question, is a 21-year-old student at Mercer College in Georgia and said that she was surprised by the reaction.
Speaking to the Washington Post, she said: “I’m not one to just push on wounds. 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?”
Mr Biden’s exchange with the student drew criticism from President Donald Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr, who said: “If he can’t handle a simple question from one of his own supporters, how can Joe Biden possibly take on Donald Trump one on one for six months?”
:: Listen to Divided States on Apple podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and Spreaker
Tuesday’s primaries in New Hampshire are the next in a long line of votes and meetings to determine who will be the Democratic candidate to take on Donald Trump in November’s election.
Joe Biden had been expected to perform well in the state, but recent surges of support for Bernie Sanders and centrist candidate Pete Buttigieg could put a stop to his progress.