Former vice president Joe Biden got into a heated exchange with an attendee at a town hall event in Iowa on Thursday after the man told Biden he was too old to be president and brought up his son, Hunter Biden.
“You’re too old for the job. I’m 83, and I know damn well I don’t have the mental faculties I did 10 years ago,” the voter, who identified himself as a retired Iowa farmer, said before turning to Ukraine.
“We all know Trump has been messing around with Ukraine over there,” he said. “But you, on the other hand, sent your son over there to get a job and work for a gas company.”
The man then accused Biden of selling access to President Obama, though there’s no evidence for that claim, nor for the notion that Biden actively installed his son with the gas company.
“You’re a damn liar, man,” Biden quickly shot back. “That’s not true, and no one has ever said that.”
As he continued to respond to the voter, at times raising his voice, Biden also hit back at the suggestion his age disqualified him from the presidency, challenging the man to do pushups or take an IQ test with him.
“Let’s do pushups together, man, let’s run, let’s do whatever you want to do, let’s take an IQ test,” he said.
The voter, who wouldn’t give his name, later told reporters he favored Senator Elizabeth Warren in the Democratic primary contest but would still vote for Biden, should he become the Democratic nominee.
In recent months, Hunter Biden’s role on the board of a Ukrainian gas company has been in the news. Though there is no evidence that the Bidens engaged in wrongdoing, President Trump pressured Ukraine’s president to announce an investigation into the arrangement.
That pressure campaign sparked an impeachment inquiry after a whistle-blower came forward with concerns that Trump had used the power of his office to solicit a political favor from a foreign government.
Biden said he wanted to keep the focus on Trump’s dealings with Ukraine’s president.
“I’m not going to let the focus get changed from what the problem is. Everybody knows. Everybody knows that Trump tried to get a foreign power to say something that they didn’t believe to be true,” Biden told reporters.
Video of the confrontation with the voter at the event in New Hampton, Iowa, quickly spread online, but some voters in the town hall audience said they were impressed with how Biden handled the confrontation.
“He’s going to be facing a lot more than that this election,” Lynn Schwickdrath, 66, said.