2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden, who once slammed President Donald Trump for implying North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is fat, faced backlash Thursday for suggesting an Iowa voter is overweight.
The former vice president lashed out at a voter who questioned his age and his son’s business dealings in Ukraine at a campaign event in Iowa. Biden told the man he is a “damn liar,” challenged him to a push-up contest and IQ test, and suggested the voter lived a sedentary lifestyle.
“To be clear: Any assertion VP Biden said a word about the gentleman’s appearance is making this something it is not,” Biden’s senior adviser Symone Sanders wrote on Twitter Thursday as users tweeted the hashtag #lookfat. “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.”
Some Twitter users criticized the former vice president, saying Biden said, “Look, fat,” to the voter.
“Look, fat.” – Joe Biden on Iowa https://t.co/NQNSpvYOfO
— Ben Domenech (@bdomenech) December 5, 2019
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) December 5, 2019
Tell me if I’m mishearing but Biden at 1:57 calls this man fat “Look fat…” because he dared to challenge him on Hunter. He also challenges him to a push up contest and warns him about being “sedentary.” So wrong. This man deserves an answer and apology. https://t.co/jl1QXEQ6Xn
— Krystal Ball (@krystalball) December 5, 2019
Joe Biden called Elizabeth Warren an elitist, but here he is insulting a man’s weight (“sedentary” and “look, fat”) and challenging him to an IQ test. Who’s the real elitist here? There’s no way the media would let Liz get away with something like this (she also wouldn’t do it!) pic.twitter.com/QxvP643Cjt
— Adam Best (@adamcbest) December 5, 2019
Trump tweeted in November 2017: “Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me ‘old,’ when I would NEVER call him ‘short and fat?’ Oh well, I try so hard to be his friend — and maybe someday that will happen.”
Biden told the “Today” show’s Savannah Guthrie in 2017 that such language was “not an appropriate way.” (RELATED: Flashback: Joe Biden Has Publicly Insulted Someone’s Intelligence Before)
“I just think in the context of just sort of common decency,” Biden said. “I mean, it’s not the way — you know, when your children hear a president referring to anybody that way, I mean, our children are listening. I mean, these things matter. And it’s just not an appropriate way.”
“To me, Savannah, every president I’ve known, and I’ve known eight, they understand there’s an obligation and a sense of dignity about the office,” Biden added. “You know, I’ve used the phrase a number of times. We are admired not just for the exercise of our power, but the power of our example. And it matters the way we conduct our discourse. It matters the way in which we talk.”
“Our leaders have impact on attitudes,” he said. “And I just think it’s a big mistake and it’s beneath the office.”
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