Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden sent the political world into a tailspin on Sunday when news broke that he called a New Hampshire voter a “lying dog-faced pony soldier.” Everyone thought it was malarkey — until they saw the footage.
People immediately visualized a voter with a face drooping on both sides like a Basset Hound, but it turns out Biden was only joking.
The voter was in fact good humored 21-year-old female college student Madison Moore from New Hampshire, who attends Mercer University in Georgia where she studies Economics.
The 77-year-old former vice president is getting badly pummeled by the Buttigieg Bounce. He thought he was cruising to caucus victory last Thursday in Iowa when he was unceremoniously upstaged by 38-year-old former Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg.
The surging young candidate has finally been declared the winner after a bruising battle for first place with 78-year-old Independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Biden placed fourth in a shocking upset, lagging behind rivals Buttigieg, Sanders and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren.
“I’m going to be a little bit mean for a second, OK?” said Moore while laughing along with the audience at a campaign stop. “So you’re arguably the candidate with greatest advantage in this race,” she said. You’ve been the vice president. You weren’t burdened down by the impeachment trials so how do you explain the performance in Iowa and why should the voters believe that you can win the national election?”
“It’s a good question,” said Biden. “Number one: Iowa’s a Democratic caucus. You ever been to a caucus? No you haven’t. You’re a lying, dog-faced pony soldier. You said you were; but now you got to be honest. I’m gonna be honest with you. It was a little bit confusing in Iowa.” The crowd broke out in laughter, Moore included.
Biden also used the same expression to a voter in January who suggested that President Obama broke his promise that individuals would be guaranteed the option to keep their doctors under the Affordable Care Act.
He claims the line came from a John Wayne movie, but movie watchers are dumbfounded as to which one he is referencing.
A video has also surfaced of Biden saying it during a 2018 campaign event for former North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp. “There’s a line in a movie, a John Wayne movie, where an Indian chief turns to John Wayne and says, ‘This is a lying, dog-faced pony soldier,’” Biden said of her opponent Kevin Cramer, who went on to win her seat.
Film critic Farran Smith Nehme wrote on Twitter that he may be combining a phrase used to describe an infantry soldier with the title of the 1952 film Pony Soldier, about the Canadian Mounties, starring Tyrone Power. It’s just another one of Biden’s folksy phraseologies.
He has often been caustic and argumentative with voters on the campaign trail, but this exchange appears to have been in jest.
“I read an article that he said [Iowa] was a punch to the gut, and I’m not one to just push on wounds. I’m not trying to humiliate anyone, Moore told The Washington Post.
“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?”
She also released a statement, saying that she had asked Biden a “fair question,” and it was “totally irrelevant whether I’ve been to a caucus or not.”
“Joe Biden has been performing incredibly poorly in this race,” Moore noted. “His inability to answer a simple question from a nobody college student like me only exacerbates that reality.”
The former vice president is forging on, hoping that the Iowa Caucus won’t be reflective of how well he performs in upcoming states.
“Nothing’s going to happen until we get down to a place and around the country where there’s much more diversity. And, you know, you’re always behind the eight ball when you’re running in New Hampshire and you have two people from the neighboring states,” he told CBS This Morning on Monday.
He has set the film world on fire as reporters and researchers search voluminous archives hoping to find the mysterious John Wayne movie.