Joe Biden lashed out at a reporter in Iowa on Tuesday, after the journalist fact-checked him for claiming to draw the largest crowds of any Democrat running for president.
The incident in question started when Biden told voters he was not worried about the crowds his more liberal opponents were drawing.
“What I’m trying to do is go around from town to town. And I’m drawing as big of crowds — bigger than anybody,” the former vice president said. “Have you seen anybody draw bigger crowds than me here in this state?”
Biden’s attempt at bravado, however, fell flat, with individuals in the crowd retorting “yes” to his question. One of those was Peter Doocy, a reporter for Fox News, who told Biden he had seen more people at events hosted by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).
The former vice president, according to Doocy and others in attendance, responded poorly to the live fact check. Only moments after their initial exchange, Biden attacked Doocy by suggesting his reporting was biased.
“I mean, I know you, I know you’re going to go after me no matter what I’ve got,” Biden said. “Yeah, you, and it’s okay. Good. I’m a big boy. I can handle it.”
This is not the first time Biden’s temper has flared when questioned by media. Earlier this month, Biden got into a heated back and forth with Joel Pollak, a senior editor at Breitbart News, when confronted about misquoting President Donald Trump’s response to neo-Nazis marching in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017.
Since announcing his candidacy, Biden has repeatedly claimed that Trump called neo-Nazis “very fine people,” when the president had actually said white supremacists should be “condemned totally” at the time of the incident. In fact, the “very fine people” remark was made while discussing the non-violent protesters, from both the left and right, that had gathered in Charlottesville to make their feelings known about the removal of a Confederate statue.
When Pollak brought up the issue with Biden, the former vice president exploded.
“No, he did not. He said, he walked out, and he said — let’s get this straight,” Biden said. “He said there were ‘very fine people’ in both groups. They’re chanting antisemitic slogans, carrying flags.”
Afterward, Biden’s campaign team and their allies attempted to spin the altercation positively, even to the point of attacking Breitbart News.
Biden’s team utilized a similar strategy last week when attacking the media for covering the candidate’s persistent gaffes.
“This is a press narrative, not a voter narrative,” Symone Sanders, the campaign’s spokeswoman, told CNN when asked if the gaffes were hurting Biden’s candidacy — as polling seems to suggest.