Presidential contender Joe Biden jokingly called a college student in New Hampshire a “lying, dog-faced pony soldier” during a campaign event on Sunday, just two months after he unloaded on an Iowa voter whom he called a “damn liar” and days after he dryly instructed a climate activist to “go vote for someone else.”
The campaign trail headscratchers came as Biden, 77, has gone on the offensive following his disappointing fourth-place finish in last week’s disastrous Iowa caucuses, well behind rivals Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
The student, Madison, of Mercer University in Georgia, began by asking Biden how he could remain competitive in the race after that performance.
“It’s a good question,” Biden responded. “Number one: Iowa’s a democratic caucus. You ever been to a caucus? No you haven’t. You’re a lying, dog-faced pony soldier. You said you were; but now you got to be honest. I’m gonna be honest with you. It was a little bit confusing in Iowa.”
Biden had used the bizarre phrase in January as well, in response to a question about President Obama’s broken promise that individuals would be guaranteed the option to keep their doctors under the Affordable Care Act.
At a 2018 campaign event, Biden offered some hints as to the origin of the phrase, remarking, “As my brother who loves to use lines from movies, from John Wayne movies, there’s a line in a movie, a John Wayne movie where an Indian chief turns to John Wayne and says, ‘This is a lying, dog-faced pony soldier.'”
But, TMZ first reported that the phrase may in fact have come from the 1952 Tyrone Power film called “Pony Soldier.” Still, no line in the movie includes the full phrase, “lying, dog-faced pony soldier.” (“The pony soldier speaks with the tongue of the snake that rattles,” a character says at one point.)
However, in the 1949 John Wayne film “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon,” a narrator at the end of the film does say part of the phrase Biden uttered: “dog-faced soldiers.” It is not directed explicitly at a character played by Wayne, and it is intended as a compliment.
“So here they are: the dog-faced soldiers, the regulars, the 50-cents-a-day professionals, riding the outposts of the nation,” the narrator says. “From Fort Reno to Fort Apache, from Sheridan to Stark, they were all the same: men in dirty-shirt blue, and only a cold page in the history books to mark their passing. But wherever they rode, and whatever they fought for, that place became the United States.”
Fox News spoke with the Mercer University student, 21-year-old Madison Moore, after the episode — and she said Biden had correctly identified her fib about attending a caucus.
“I felt he did give some good answers,” Moore said. “It was a little awkward being put on the spot. But he was right. I haven’t been to a caucus. I kind of caved in the moment. So he’s right. He’s right there. But he’s right about the black vote, too. I mean, it’s very important. And the results have shown that people think he doesn’t have that support. So I’m still very skeptical, but I thought he did a good job answering.”
Also in New Hampshire, Biden forcefully echoed failed presidential contender Eric Swalwell in dismissing Second Amendment advocates, claiming personal gun ownership is an ineffective defense against government tyranny. (In an infamous tweet, Swalwell informed a gun-rights proponent that the government “has nukes” and could defeat an uprising in a “short war.”)
“Those who say ‘the tree of liberty is watered with the blood of patriots’ — a great line, well, guess what: The fact is, if you’re going to take on the government you need an F-15 with Hellfire Missiles,” Biden said. “There is no way an AK-47 is going to take care of you, if you’re worried about the government coming and knocking down your door.”
You can read the rest of Gregg Re’s article at FoxNews.com