Having sunk like a rock in most polling, former Vice President Joe Biden kicked off his “No Malarkey” bus tour on Saturday in Iowa to re-launch his presidential bid, though someone forgot to tell the candidate to cut the malarkey.
Looking to regain momentum in the state that will hold the nation’s first presidential caucus, an 18 county barnstorm began with a rally outside a Council Bluffs campaign office, which featured Biden’s wife, Jill Biden.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) November 30, 2019
On a cramped stage, Mrs. Biden was doing her best to drum up enthusiasm for her husband with a small crowd of about 175 people, as he stood behind her to the right.
As she waved her arm about, Mrs. Biden came perilously close to smacking Biden in the face. She was oblivious to the pending disaster and after several near misses, with Biden leaning back to avoid her hand, he finally leaned in and playfully bit her finger.
— Bo Erickson CBS (@BoKnowsNews) November 30, 2019
Not exactly the desired optics, given the candidate’s history of creepy behavior with women and children — Jill Biden didn’t help matters, as she let out a creepy laugh in response to his antics.
While the stunt drew awkward laughter from the crowd, it undermined any idea of a no-nonsense barnstorming tour.
“The reason we named it ‘No Malarkey’ is the other guy is all lies, so we just want to make sure there’s a contrast,” Biden reportedly told the crowd.
“The reason we named it ‘No Malarkey’ is because the other guy’s all lies,” @JoeBiden says in Council Bluffs, Iowa, referring to President Trump off the bat as he kicks off his 8-day bus tour through the state. pic.twitter.com/jiOoBRPf50
— Sarah Mucha (@sarahmucha) November 30, 2019
This being a reference to President Donald Trump, of course.
But given Biden’s standing in the polls, he may never see a stage where he goes head to head with the president.
That’s quite a drop, coming after a series of gaffes and miscues on the stump that has prompted some to question whether Biden, at the age of 77, has the mental capacity to take on Trump.
In a sign of how dismal the Democratic field is, Pete Buttigieg is out in front in Iowa with 24.0 percent, giving the mayor of South Bend, Ind., a city with just over 100,000 people, a 5.7 point lead over second place candidate, self-avowed socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders, who has 18.3 percent.
Buttigieg is the first openly gay Democratic presidential candidate.
The other candidate ahead of Biden is Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., who is in third place with 17.7 percent.
The crowd dwindled substantially at Biden’s second stop of the day, suggesting that he is no longer exciting voters — if he ever did, as his early success may have had more to do with name recognition.
— Natasha Korecki (@natashakorecki) November 30, 2019
The “creepy” aspect of the former vice president biting his wife’s finger at a public event resonated online.
Here’s a sampling of responses from Twitter:
Joe see fingers, Joe gonna bite em
Joe doesn’t know where he is or what the heck he’s doing, but if he sees fingers he’s bitin’ em because they’re there and because he can
I don’t care what any historian says, this is the craziest time in the history of American politics
— Davey Jones (@titusxpullo) November 30, 2019
He’s so super presidential and exudes loads of gravitas. Please let us elect him now!
— Butterhund (@Butterhund1) December 1, 2019
He’s so weird he can’t even hide it a little
— JC (@Quato2) November 30, 2019
At least his teeth stayed in this time.
— Jim Frogue (@jimfrogue) November 30, 2019
Biden looks and acts like he should be in an assisted living or memory care facility KAG baby
— Wendal (@Wendal62466572) December 1, 2019
Maybe he’s moved on from ear smooching and hair sniffing, although I hope the kids are ready to lose a digit when creepy joe is around.
— Jonny Mack (@jmcgurn_mack) November 30, 2019
He has no concept of personal space or boundaries. He’ll touch, bite, squeeze or sniff anyone anywhere.
— Sue is Thankful ?❤️?? (@Sue40637736) November 30, 2019
Interestingly, there was plenty of opinion that it was all harmless fun between a husband and a wife — let Donald Trump try this and see how the media reacts.
Here’s a quick sampling of those who did not take issue with the love bite:
Nothing wrong with this. Playful. Kinda hilarious. Focus should be on bigger issues.
— Against The Voices (@voices365) December 1, 2019
Relax. I’m no fan of Biden, but this was some innocent fun. If you want to get upset, show him molesting young girls on CSPAN. This ain’t it.
— Craig Reynolds (@BaxterBen78) December 1, 2019
Oh stop. I don’t like Sleepy Joe one bit, but this is just some playful interaction with his wife. Taking some bewildered stance on this is not a good look
— James (@James22281860) November 30, 2019
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