Joe Biden called a young woman a “lying dog-faced pony soldier” at a campaign event in New Hampshire Sunday, as representatives for the former vice president went on the defense Sunday.

In a video clip from an event in Hampton, N.H., a young woman who identified herself as “Madison,” an economics student at Mercer University in Georgia, asked Biden about his fourth-place performance at the Iowa Democratic caucus.

“You’re arguably the candidate with the greatest advantage in this race,” the woman said, grabbing a microphone handed to her by Biden. “You’ve been the vice president, you aren’t burdened down by the impeachment trials, in the participation. So how do you explain the performance in Iowa and why should the voters believe that you can win the national election?”

Biden responded by telling the audience it was a good question.

“Number one, Iowa’s a democratic caucus. You ever been to a caucus,” he asked.

After her response, Biden shot back, “No you haven’t. You’re a lying dog-faced pony soldier, you said you were but now you gotta be honest, I’m gonna be honest with you.”

Biden finished in fourth place in the caucus, over 10 percentage points behind frontrunners Sen. Bernie Sanders and former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and over two percentage points behind Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Biden’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment, but his campaign representatives were quick to dismiss the comment as a classic movie reference on Twitter, without actually naming the movie.

“It’s a joke that was met with …. drumroll … laughter in the room and from the questioner,” Remi Yamamoto, Biden’s traveling national press secretary tweeted. “It’s from a John Wayne movie and he’s made it plenty of times before. Sorry to ruin the fun twitter!”

BIden’s rapid response director, Andrew Bates, retweeted the response.

A Franklin Pierce-Boston Herald-NBC10Boston poll early Sunday showed Biden plummeting to fourth place with just 14% of the vote.


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