Joe Biden’s challenger at an Iowa town hall turned out to be a Marine veteran who thinks the Democratic presidential candidate has a “wet noodle for a backbone.”
The 83-year-old was called a “damn liar” by the former vice president at a forum in New Hampton after he confronted him about his son Hunter’s job at a Ukrainian gas company.
“I’m positive 90 percent of the people there didn’t know about his son working on the board in Ukraine. I wanted it brought out there,” Merle Gorman said of the exchange.
“If it educated them a little bit, so be it,” the Marine Corps veteran and retired farmer added. “I’m glad it happened.”
At the town hall event, Gorman clearly set Biden off when he began to speak about accusations against President Trump of using military aid to prompt an investigation into Biden and his son, who served on the board of Burisma Holdings, during a call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
‘Get your words straight, jack!’ Biden loses it when man asks about Burisma, challenges him to ‘pushup’ contest https://t.co/nVMcmUH3ms
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) December 5, 2019
“We all know Trump has been messing around in Ukraine over there, holding their foreign aid for them to come up saying they’re going to investigate you. We know all about that. He’s no backbone. We know that,” Gorman told Biden.
“But you, on the other hand, sent your son over there to get a job and work for a gas company that he had no experience for, absolutely nothing, in order to get access to the president,” he added. “You’re selling access to the president just like he was.”
“You’re a damn liar, man. That’s not true. And no one has ever said that,” Biden fired back, going off for the next few minutes about the accusations, his candidacy and even his physical health as he challenged Gorman to do push-ups with him.
“The exchange speaks for itself. He didn’t have the guts to explain the situation, and that’s what I wanted,” Gorman told the Post.
“He got pissed off and stomped around … he wasn’t happy at all,” he added. “He started mumbling, saying it wasn’t true.”
“After today, he told me what he’s made out of … he’s got a wet noodle for a backbone,” he said.
Video of the exchange has gone viral and Biden aide Symone Sanders addressed one of the contested portions of the confrontation in which many think the 2020 hopeful called Gorman “fat.”
To be clear: Any assertion VP Biden said a word about the gentleman’s appearance is making this something it is not. In the latter part of the exchange, the VP began to say “Look, facts” then said “here’s the deal.” If you’ve been to a Biden event, you’ve heard this before.
— Symone D. Sanders (@SymoneDSanders) December 5, 2019
Gorman was prompted to ask Biden about his son and the Ukraine issue after listening to questions from others at the event.
“All the others were softballs questions, they might as well have been asking him what color the chandelier was in the vice president’s office,” he told the New York Post. “I wish he had explained in a decent tone of voice why he got his son in that position over there and in my opinion, he had no business whatsoever sticking his nose over there.”
The veteran noted that after the event, “quite a few people came up to shake my hand and said ‘right on man’ and others were mad.”
One man was angry enough to confront Gorman, telling him “Why don’t you just get outta here?” as seen in a video.
Gorman, who was seated as the unidentified man approached him from behind, turned to respond.
“Stick it up your a** fella,” he said, standing up. “Do you wanna throw me out?”
After a few words between them, the other man walked away.
The voter who got in a confrontation with Biden — who refused to give his name but said he is a registered independent — almost got in a fight with another voter after the event. He also said Biden is “senile, anyhow” https://t.co/DyMpBoxF2E pic.twitter.com/8cWzYbwt7m
— Emily Larsen (@emilyelarsen) December 5, 2019
Gorman told the Washington Examiner that Biden “is so old, he’s senile anyhow,” adding that “it was all softball stuff, he don’t want to answer the hard stuff.”
The Marine veteran is no fan of Trump’s, and voted for former President Obama in the past, but told the Post he would prefer to see other Democratic candidates like Sen. Elizabeth Warren be the nominee.
“I would love any of them except Joe Biden,” he said. “He’s been there all his life …”
“I don’t have any ill feelings toward Joe Biden,” Gorman continued. “But he’s had his day in there and I’m not fond of lifetime politicians.”
“I’m not trying to mess anybody’s campaign up,” he added. “I want people to know what kind of fella they’re electing.”
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