Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden sparked plenty of mockery with his “No Malarkey” bus tour through Iowa, prompting an MSNBC anchor to note criticism of the phrase as the “ultimate OK, boomer.”
While the former vice president is reportedly “proud” of his use of the word, MSNBC’s Kendis Gibson questioned whether it further cemented Biden as an out-of-touch 2020 contender, too old to connect with younger generations of voters.
The network’s weekend anchor wondered what exactly the word “malarkey” means in a Sunday segment, referring to the catchphrase Biden used in his 2012 vice-presidential debate with Paul Ryan.
“A lot of people online have been making a lot of fun of it, saying it’s the ultimate ‘OK, boomer,’” Gibson said, speaking with reporter Mike Memoli, who was on location in western Iowa.
“What do voters there in Iowa think of this ‘No Malarkey’ thing? Gibson asked.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) November 30, 2019
Momeli noted that Biden is appealing to “an older demographic” and the phrase “fits with his style,” adding that the Democrat explained that it is “an Irish term that means no B.S.”
“There’s some people who are saying why not, in this age of President Trump, why not just put ‘B.S.’ on your bus,” Gibson said.
Joe Biden: “Folks, I’m on what we’re referring here as I guess it’s my Irish ancestry, when my grandfather would really think something is full of you know what, he’d say ‘that’s a lot of malarkey.’ So we’re on a No Malarkey tour, meaning we’re telling the truth.” pic.twitter.com/BFlFnmnpMj
— The Hill (@thehill) December 1, 2019
Even over at CNN, the wisdom of using the phrase was being questioned.
The “No Malarkey” bus tour honestly sounds like a name someone would give the Biden bus tour as a joke. But nope, that’s what they went with. Not to worry, though, they put the definition on the bus… pic.twitter.com/3QuUTr7gpz
— Tommy Pigott (@TCPigott) November 30, 2019
The “No Malarkey!” phrase is emblazoned on Biden’s tour bus as he makes his way on an eight-day tour through the first caucus state, but it doesn’t seem to be generating the same excitement the 77-year-old candidate is apparently feeling over it.
“It’s aptly named — the reason we named it ‘No Malarkey’ is because the other guys all lie,” Biden told supporters at one Iowa campaign stop, according to Politico.
“He does seem genuine. [But] it’s an older word. Not necessarily in touch with younger people,” Isaac Lawrence, a 19-year-old Biden supporter, said. “It’s the first time I’ve heard it in a while.”
“I’m afraid he’s going to be disregarded as, ‘Ok, boomer,'” Jill Potham lamented.
I am sorry. I have loved you over the years, but the young people are right. #NoMalarkey is tired and old. This does not connect you to a vast number of voters. Yes, you will have the senior citizens. But you need to reach out to many more. This so does not do that.
— Debbie (@Debbie_3) November 30, 2019
As Biden’s tweet announcing the “No Malarkey” tour was shredded online, his goofy reaction to a moment with his wife seemed to reinforce the negative impression he was leaving on some voters.
Social media users seemed to agree, mocking the phrase and Biden’s lack of appeal to millennials among other things.
“It’s not a great slogan when you have to put the dictionary definition on the side of your bus,” GOP Rapid Response Director Steve Guest tweeted.
It’s not a great slogan when you have to put the dictionary definition on the side of your bus.
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) November 30, 2019
Conservative columnist Kimberly Ross joined many others on Twitter to mock the use of the term.
That’ll reach younger voters. https://t.co/LwCEfzsz4Q
— Kimberly Ross (@SouthernKeeks) November 30, 2019
What about shenanigans? Will there be no shenanigans? Will there also be no hijinx? What about hooliganism or balderdash? None of that too? Poppycock? Rigamarole? https://t.co/BFj8vFeXzj
— RainnWilson (@rainnwilson) November 30, 2019
This is the weirdest campaign slogan.
It seems like you’ve completely abandoned the idea of millennials even considering you.
— #ThePersistence (@ScottPresler) December 1, 2019
Can someone translate Malarkey for me. I don’t speak boomer https://t.co/Ya8CmdnTad
— Saagar Enjeti (@esaagar) December 1, 2019
My teen just asked what the heck malarkey is. I told her to call grandma cause I ain’t gotta clue.
— Kambree Kawahine Koa (@KamVTV) November 30, 2019
Joe Biden: How’s my campaign going?
Staff: People think you are old and out of touch with younger voters.
Joe Biden: I will start saying malarkey more. https://t.co/DSDfPbvWNc
— Connor Stone (@stone1492) November 30, 2019
Joe Biden is calling his bus tour the “NO MALARKEY” tour and that’s all you need to know about his youth outreach.
— Amanda (@AmandaPresto) November 28, 2019
Looked it up in the dictionary and all I found was this picture……. pic.twitter.com/d3s2HPZQtJ
— John Edwards (@johnnyboylc) November 30, 2019
I honestly thought this bus photo was a parody. https://t.co/hiSf7bsNyN
— thebradfordfile™ (@thebradfordfile) November 30, 2019
- Thirsty Madonna, 63, sprawls out on Jimmy Fallon’s desk, then flashes audience - October 9, 2021
- Appeals court reinstates Texas ‘fetal heartbeat’ law banning abortions after 6 weeks - October 9, 2021
- Family denied food for not having vax card; raw and powerful footage …THIS is how to fight back - September 16, 2021