A controversial former staffer for Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign posted a video of himself Sunday calling potential supporters of Joe Biden and suggesting the former vice president has dementia.
In more than five hours of footage, uploaded to YouTube under the title “Phone Banking for Biden,” content creator and YouTube personality Matt Orfalea describes the conversations he’s having with potential voters, who he occasionally mocks as old and stupid.
“Some people might try to smear Joe as having dementia, but the facts are that he only forgot that he was running for president briefly,” Orfalea says in the video. “It was odd that he was running for president and he forgot that he’s running for president while giving a presidential campaign speech.”
At various points during the video, Orfalea ridicules the people he’s calling.
“These poor people are just completely uninformed,” he says between calls.
Over the weekend, Biden campaign digital director Rob Flaherty called out Orfalea’s stunt.
“We’ll cut him off in a little bit but I figured it’s worth everyone seeing this stuff in action,” Flaherty tweeted.
A former Bernie employee is using our virtual phonebank tool to call voters and tell them Joe Biden has dementia — and is live-streaming it. We’ll cut him off in a little bit but I figured it’s worth everyone seeing this stuff in action. https://t.co/wBFeCR6wAo pic.twitter.com/QI4D8tOY1E
— Rob Flaherty (@Rob_Flaherty) March 9, 2020
Tensions between Biden and Sanders supporters have flared recently following both candidates’ emergence as front-runners to win the Democratic presidential nomination.
In February, Biden criticized the online conduct of Sanders’ supporters for their online conduct and suggested Sanders should disown them.
“He may not be responsible for it but he has some accountability,” Biden said in an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “If any of my supporters did that, I’d disown them. Flat disown them. The stuff that was said online, the way they threatened these two women who are leaders in that Culinary Union. It is outrageous.”