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Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden called a member of the media a “lying dog face” Tuesday at the end of the former vice president’s first media availability in months.
Biden was nearing the end of his news conference at a high school in Wilmington, Delaware, when a reporter tried to get in some last-minute questions on the desecration of statues and monuments and Biden’s participation in presidential debates.
“Last question real quick. Some have speculated,” the reporter, identified as being affiliated with Fox News, began.
“You’re a lying dog face,” Biden said, grinning at his own remark before allowing the reporter to finish the question.
“That you are subject to some degree of cognitive decline. I’m 65. I don’t have the word recollection that I used to have. I forget my train of thought from time to time. You’ve got 12 years on me, sir. Have you been tested for some degree of cognitive decline?” the reporter asked.
“I’ve been testing. I’m constantly testing,” Biden replied.
“Look, all you got to do is watch me and I can hardly wait to compare my cognitive capability to the cognitive capability of the man I’m running against. Thank you so much,” Biden said as he walked off, ending the event.
Biden has employed the phrase before, most recently in New Hampshire when asked about his lackluster finish in the Iowa caucuses.
In a video of the encounter, 21-year old Madison Moore of Mercer University in Georgia asked Biden questions he did not like.
“You’re a lying dog-faced pony soldier,” Biden retorted.
Biden’s camp has claimed the line was an allusion to an old John Wayne movie, according to The Washington Post.
The outlet Slate sought to track the specific movie, and linked pieces of the Biden’s comment to several Western films. But that exact remark was not linked to any one film.
Slate reported that Biden had used the line before, during a 2018 campaign event for then-Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota.
The phrase was evoked by Howie Carr in an Op-Ed published by the Boston Herald in which Carr said Biden slurred his words throughout Tuesday’s event.
“Joe Biden, get back in that basement! No more live press conferences for you like Tuesday’s in Delaware, not if you want to keep that wide lead in the same polls that four years ago this week showed Hillary Clinton with almost exactly the same margins over Donald J. Trump,” Carr wrote.
“And we all know how that 2016 election turned out,” he added.
“Being outside the basement amongst the public, on live national TV, is when the Biden campaign is most at risk, or, as you slurred Tuesday in Wilmington, ‘mosk at wrist.’”
Carr noted that “somehow a real reporter from Fox News had sneaked in, and he asked Biden an impertinent question about ‘cognitive decline.’”
“I’m sure CNN and MSNBC last night played up Biden’s emergence from the cellar as a tour de force, but my bet is you won’t see him above ground for at least another month. Get back in the basement, Joe!” he wrote.