Joe Biden returned to one of his favorite and bizarre insults this weekend, joking to a voter on Sunday that she was a “lying dog-face pony soldier” when she asked about his viability in the race.
The moment took place at a town hall session with voters in New Hampshire ahead of Tuesday’s primary. As The Daily Mail noted, Biden had fielded a question from a woman who asked Biden to explain how he could still come back and win the Democratic nomination after a disappointing fourth-place finish in the Iowa caucus this week.
Biden started by explaining that the Iowa race was an entirely different type than what would be taking place in New Hampshire and asked the woman if she had ever been to a caucus. When the woman nodded that she had, Biden jumped on her answer with an odd insult.
“No you haven’t. You’ve a lying dog-faced pony soldier,” Biden joked, eliciting laughs from the audience.
“You said you were – but now you’ve got to be honest. Now, I’m gonna be honest with you. It was a little bit confusing in Iowa.”
The line drew some viral interest and criticism of Biden, especially from his opponents on the right. Donald Trump Jr. shared a video of the exchange and claimed that Biden was not cut out to handle the race if that was how he interacted with his own supporters.
But others pointed out that the line was meant as a joke and appeared to land that way with the supporters in attendance. Vanity Fair noted that Biden has pulled out that line in the past, having said it on the campaign trail before he entered the presidential race.
“This is not the first time Biden has used the unusual euphemism,” the report noted.
“At a 2018 rally for Senator Heidi Heitkamp he quoted his brother’s use of the expression, which he allegedly got from an old John Wayne movie.”
If he can’t handle a simple question from one of his own supporters, how can Joe Biden possibly take on Donald Trump one on one for six months?
???????????? #NewHampshirePrimary https://t.co/t0KVEc9uoZ
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) February 9, 2020
The report added that film critic Farran Smith Nehme seems to have found the source for Biden’s strange insult, tracing it back to a little-known 1952 movie about Canadian Mounties that used both phrases, though she noted that they did not make sense when combined together.
Biden has gained a reputation for his odd phrases and stories on the campaign trail, including a tale about confronting the leader of a neighborhood gang, a man named Corn Pop, in his youth.