Democratic presidential hopeful Joseph R. Biden repeatedly put his hands on an Iowa man and told him to “go vote for someone else” in a tense exchange that has gone viral.
Mr. Biden was taking photos with supporters Tuesday at a campaign event in Iowa when he was approached by former state Rep. Ed Fallon, who confronted the former vice president on climate change.
“I’m gonna 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?” Mr. Fallon asked. “Now, you say you’re against pipelines, but then you want to replace these gas lines, and that’s not gonna work. We’ve got to stop building and replacing pipelines.”
Mr. Biden responded by placing a hand on Mr. Fallon’s chest and telling him to “go vote for somebody else.”
“You’re not going to vote for me in the primary,” Mr. Biden continued, placing his index finger on Mr. Fallon’s chest.
“I’m going to vote for you in the general if you treat me right,” Mr. Fallon fired back.
“In the general,” Mr. Biden responded. “I’m looking for a primary and a caucus. That’s what I’m looking for OK?”
Mr. Biden then inched closer to Mr. Fallon’s face and grabbed him by the coat with both hands, saying, “Now, you believe Bernie can do something by 2020,” assuming the man was a supporter of Democratic presidential rival Sen. Bernard Sanders.
“I’m actually supporting Tom Steyer,” Mr. Fallon replied.
In a video of the exchange posted to Twitter, which has racked up nearly two million views, the men briefly continued their conversation and Mr. Biden grabbed Mr. Fallon’s arm and touched his chest twice more before walking away.
Mr. Steyer later blasted Mr. Biden’s behavior, saying “this is no way to treat an Iowan.”
“Hi @JoeBiden,” the Democratic presidential candidate tweeted. “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.”
Mr. Biden has repeatedly told people who don’t share his views to vote for somebody else in the Democratic primary. He has also been roundly criticized for his handsy approach to people. Last week, he placed his hands on CBS reporter Ed O’Keefe and told him to “calm down” during a tense exchange at a campaign event in Mason City, Iowa.
Hi @JoeBiden, 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
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