A 21-year-old student whom Joe Biden on Sunday called a “lying dog-faced pony soldier” angrily recounted the experience in an interview a day later.
Madison Moore provoked the insult from Biden by questioning him during a campaign stop in Hampton, New Hampshire, about his faltering Democratic presidential bid. The moment, which came ahead of Tuesday’s first-in-the-nation primary in the state, subsequently went viral online and triggered backlash against the former vice president.
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) February 9, 2020
Moore, an economics major at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, told The Telegraph, a local newspaper, that she never thought the exchange would attract so much attention.
“If I had expected that, I would’ve worn makeup,” she said. “I would’ve looked a lot cuter.”
She said she felt Biden was trying to “invalidate” her with his words.
“It was kind of humiliating to be called a liar on national TV by the former vice president,” she said. “Instead of answering that question straightforward, his immediate response was to attempt to invalidate me by exposing my inexperience.”
Moore had asked Biden why voters should believe he could beat President Donald Trump in the 2020 election following his disappointing fourth-place finish in the Iowa caucuses. Biden responded by asking if she had ever participated in a caucus before. She falsely claimed she had.
That’s when Biden hit her with the strange “dog-faced” pejorative. He later said he had been joking, and that the phrase, which he has used before, came from an unspecified John Wayne movie.
However, Moore told The Telegraph that she was not amused by Biden’s quip and felt hers was a fair question.
“He has been performing extremely poorly in this race and the fact that he couldn’t just straight answer my question without bullying or intimidating just exacerbates that fact,” she said. “I am 21-year old college student, like what the hell do I know? Who cares who I am or my experience. Just answer the damn question.”
Moore said she misrepresented her caucusing experience to Biden because she was nervous. A native of Fernandina Beach, Florida, she was in New Hampshire on trip with her university political science class.
In his answer to Moore, Biden acknowledged that her question was legitimate. But he said he does not think the Iowa causes are a good measure of how a candidate will perform nationally.
Madison Moore continues her rant on Sean Hannity
On Monday, Moore appeared on Fox News’ “Hannity” and said that she finds much of what Biden says on the campaign trail to be “tasteless and very sad.”
“Frankly when he speaks, a lot of what he is saying is tasteless and very sad. And we have heard a lot about death and cancer and people losing their jobs. To me, he doesn’t seem very solution-oriented in how to fix those problems,” she said. “I don’t think he has the momentum to carry this to a national election.”
Host Sean Hannity quipped: “All right, not exactly the look for someone who at this point probably needs every vote he can get.”
Biden, 77, has engaged in a number of viral clashes with voters while campaigning and faced criticism for his interactions with women, which some have deemed too familiar. Many observers have questioned whether Biden still has the capacity to run for president.
On Tuesday, Biden lost badly in the New Hampshire primary. He came in fifth, well behind the winner, Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont Independent, Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, also narrowly bested him.
Before the voting was even over, Biden canceled a planned primary night event in New Hampshire and flew to South Carolina, where he has promised to turn his campaign around.
- Student Madison Moore questions Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden during a campaign stop in Hampton, New Hampshire, on Feb. 9, 2020.: Screen grab