Joe Biden called a man a “damn liar” during a heated exchange at a campaign event in New Hampton, Iowa, on Thursday. The remark came after the man brought up the conspiracy theory that Biden secured a position on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian gas company, for his son, so that his son could sell access to the president.
The man, who only identified himself as a retired farmer, first criticized Biden over his age, then moved onto Hunter Biden’s work in Ukraine.
The man began by saying that Trump has “no backbone” for withholding military aid from Ukraine. He then added, “but you on the other hand,” referencing Biden, “sent your son over there to get a job and work for a gas company — and he had no experience with gas or nothing — in order to get access to the president.”
Biden silently paced the aisle until the man said, “So you’re selling access to the president just like he was.”
Biden then interrupted: “You’re a damn liar man, that’s not true. And no one has ever said that, no one has proved that.”
The man replied, “I’ve seen it on the TV.”
Now, only feet away from the man, Biden said, “I know you do, and by the way, I’m not sedentary.”
“Look, the reason I’m running is because I’ve been around a long time and I know more than most people know, and I can get things done, and that’s why I’m running,” Biden said, appearing to be referencing the original comment about his age. “And if you want to check my shape, let’s do pushups, let’s do whatever you want to do, let’s take an IQ test.”
“No one has said my son has done anything wrong,” Biden added. The man then claimed he never said Biden did anything wrong, to which the candidate countered, “you said I set up my son to work in an oil company. Isn’t that what you said? Get your words straight jack.”
The man then claimed to have heard the Ukraine conspiracy theory on MSNBC. “You did not hear that on MSNBC,” Biden retorts.
The next, and final, part of the exchange is disputed. Video appears to catch Biden call the man “fat,” but his campaign has claimed he said “fact.”
“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,” Biden’s senior advisor Symone D. Sanders tweeted after the event.
The exchange ends after the man once again says that Biden has “no more backbone than Trump,” and is met with boos from the crowd. Biden then turns away from the man and asks the audience for more questions.