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Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden briefly chewed on his wife’s finger during a campaign stop on Saturday in Iowa, which drew mockery online from critics.
Biden nibbled on Jill Biden’s finger onstage at a rally in Council Bluffs, Iowa, after she swung her arm in front of him while she was introducing him to the audience.
Biden, who is in the top-tier of Democratic presidential candidates, has come under scrutiny in recent months over questions surrounding his health, which has led to critics questioning his his fitness for office.
In addition to questions about his fitness for office, Biden has also faced questions over his actions while he served as vice president in the Obama administration.
The questions surrounding Biden’s time as vice president stem from business dealings that his son, Hunter Biden, had with a Ukrainian gas company, Burisma, while Biden led U.S. anti-corruption efforts in Ukraine.
Biden and his son are at the center of the Democrats’ attempts to impeach President Donald Trump over a July 25 phone call that he had with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in which Democrats claim that Trump engaged in a quid pro quo. Democrats claim that Trump withheld military assistance to Ukraine as he pressured them to investigate the Bidens and Burisma.
In House Democrats’ public impeachment hearings, multiple witnesses have stated that there was no quid pro quo, including Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, Senior NSC official Tim Morrison, Ambassador Kurt Volker, and Ambassador Gordon Sondland.
Despite the controversy that has surrounded his campaign, Biden has managed to stay at the top of the Democratic field in the polls.
“South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg has climbed to leads in polling averages of the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary, the first two contests in February, according to RealClearPolitics. Even so, former Vice President Joe Biden has kept his edge in surveys of the Nevada caucuses and South Carolina primary, the two other key early states,” CNBC reported. “Through the ebbs and flows at the state level, Biden has kept his grip on the national polling lead. While the surveys have their limits because voting takes place in states, they capture a broader snapshot of the race.”
Biden’s finger munching incident came during his “No Malarkey” bus tour in Iowa, which started on Saturday.
“The frontrunner’s eight-day bus tour is part of an effort to sharpen his pitch before the Feb. 3 caucuses as polls have shown Biden slipping in the first-in-the-nation state. The tour will cover 18 counties and is a play on one of Biden’s most well-known phrases,” Fox News reported. “Perhaps most notably it was used in his 2012 vice-presidential debate with then GOP VP hopeful Paul Ryan, when he told his rival that his criticism of the Obama administration’s foreign policy was ‘a bunch of malarkey.’”
Biden Campaign Manager Greg Schultz told The Gazette: “When Joe Biden first announced he was running, he told Iowans they’d be seeing a lot of him — and he meant it. Being honest, upfront and authentic is core to who Joe Biden is and why Iowans love him.”