Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden came under fire from a former Iowa state representative after he “pushed and poked” him on a question about climate change.
The 2020 hopeful was caught on video in a heated exchange with Ed Fallon, a former Democratic state legislator who works with climate activist group Bold Iowa, after he challenged the former vice president on his energy policies.
When asked about pipeline infrastructure, Joe Biden advises Ed Fallon to “Go vote for someone else.” He goes on to say, in so many words, that we can’t make a difference by 2030.
Posted by Bold Iowa on Monday, January 27, 2020
“I like you and I’m going to support you if you win the nomination because we’ve got to get rid of Trump, but what are we going to do about climate change?” Fallon asked Biden at a campaign event in Des Moines.
“Now, you say you’re against pipelines, but then you want to replace these gas lines. That’s not going to work,” the former member in the Iowa General Assembly added. “We’ve got to stop building and replacing pipelines.”
“No no no… go vote for someone else,” Biden responded, patting the Iowa voter on the chest. “You’re not going to vote for me in the primary.”
“I’m going to vote for you in the general if you treat me right,” Fallon explained.
“Look, you’re asking for a picture of me, coming up and telling me you don’t support me,” Biden snapped as Fallon disagreed, reiterating that he would back the Democrat in the general election if he wins the nomination.
“I’m looking for a primary, in a caucus, that’s what I’m looking for, OK? Now, you believe that Bernie could do something by 2030?” Biden pushed back, with his hands on the man’s jacket.
“I’m actually supporting Tom Steyer,” Fallon replied.
“Well, that’s good,” Biden said, adding that “he’s the guy that put…more coal mines than the entire country of England.”
“So you got the right guy,” he added.
When Fallon asked for a picture, Biden turned away, saying “no.”
The viral video shared by journalist Zaid Jilani on Twitter caught the attention of Biden’s 2020 rival, billionaire climate-change activist Tom Steyer who called him out, saying it was “no way to treat an Iowan,” especially one who would vote for a Democrat in November.
This is no way to treat an Iowan. He said he’d vote for the Dem in the general b/c he knows how important it is to beat Trump.
We need immediate action on climate. If you don’t agree, happy to talk @ debate.
But don’t take it out on voters we need to win in Nov. https://t.co/gG6UTDGL15
— Tom Steyer (@TomSteyer) January 28, 2020
“Biden didn’t need to do this to me,” Fallon wrote on his website, BoldIowa.com
“Biden doesn’t even attempt to address my concern. All he says is that serious climate action by 2030 isn’t realistic,” Fallon wrote about the exchange.
“And despite his repeated calls for unity, Biden rejects my offer to support him in the general election. That really shocked me. What was even more shocking was how Biden pushed and poked me, and then took hold of my jacket with both hands as he lectured me,” he wrote.
“I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it one more time: Joe Biden is the Democratic candidate LEAST likely to beat Donald Trump. His demeanor on the stump will inevitably come back to bite him, perhaps repeatedly,” he added. “His propensity to violate personal space is a huge non-asset in politics, and his frequent gaffes are prime fodder for opponents and the media.”
While some on social media defended Biden, pointing out that he didn’t push or grab Fallon’s jacket, others remarked on the Democrat’s tendency to touch people and perhaps the birth of a new campaign strategy and slogan.
He’s a bully, it’s been demonstrated. He constantly invades personal space and engages aggressively.
— Silverback™ (@Silverback375) January 28, 2020
Unclear if Biden understands how campaigning and elections work… https://t.co/2uPLtLzX22
— Zaid Jilani (@ZaidJilani) January 28, 2020
Biden didn’t do anything wrong ….. Biden called the guy out for coming to take picture with Joe Biden but doesn’t even support Biden in the primary. Then goes ahead and gives him lessons which the guy needed. I thought Biden handled it beautifully.
— L V N (@LvnCali) January 29, 2020
This is like the 4th video I’ve seen of Biden reacting to a voter voicing reasonable concerns by telling them to go vote for someone else. Is this some sort of strategy I’m not getting? Why be so consistently dismissive?
— Tuxedo Mask (@TheLoveBel0w) January 28, 2020
“go vote for someone else” finally a Biden slogan I can get behind
— Stephen Duffin (@Duffmid) January 28, 2020
Bernie needs to show that video and say “here, if you feel like this guy who Biden told to go away, join us!”
— Obejuan (@jsst0ry) January 28, 2020
They say Bernie is the grouchy candidate??
Biden is always pissy like he needs a nap or a snack.
— BlackGurlLikesBernie ?? (@BlackGurlBerns) January 28, 2020