(Warning: Graphic Language)
The first two days of the Democratic National Convention have been packed with heart-warming stories about the firm morals and even temper of their candidate Joe Biden. They have painted a portrait of a man full of grace, slow to anger, who only wants the best for everyone.
To them, he is the anti-Trump. They want voters to see a man who doesn't tweet angry screeds at late-night talk show hosts, doesn't call the press the "enemy of the people," would probably even get a dog if elected.
But no matter how heavily Democrats lean into this narrative, no matter how confidently they push the imagery of good ole "Uncle Joe," and tout him as a unifier and a man of peace, it simply isn't the truth. Throughout the early days of his presidential bid, Biden's temper was tested by members of the press and voters. And as you may remember, he didn't do well.
It might be easy to forget Biden's behavior, now that he has the excuse of a global pandemic preventing him from interacting with the press or public off-script, but Biden got himself in hot water on multiple occasions for being the opposite of a "nice guy" when challenged on just about anything.
Lying Dog-Faced Pony Soldier
In February, after a disappointing fourth-place finish in the Iowa caucus, Biden was asked by a 21-year-old college student why he thought a man with his credentials faired so poorly in the early Democrat contest.
"Iowa’s a Democratic caucus,” Biden said in response. “You ever been to a caucus?" She responded, to his obvious surprise, in the affirmative.
"No, you haven’t," Biden shot back. "You’re a lying dog-faced pony soldier," he said without a hint of humor. Later, Biden tried to excuse the confusing but derogatory remark as a quote from a John Wayne movie. Months of research by many reporters have not yet yielded a movie with that line, though Biden had previously used the insult when challenged about the notorious Obama lie that people would be able to keep their current doctors under the ACA.
A man pointed out to Biden in 2019 that his father was promised he would be able to continue with his current doctor under Obamacare, but that he had been lied to. Biden suggested instead that the man's father was a "lying dog-faced pony soldier."
The insulted student, Madison Moore, wasn't even bothered by the strange put-down. She just wanted to know why he challenged her simple question in the first place.
"Joe Biden has been performing incredibly poorly in this race,” Moore said. “His inability to answer a simple question from a nobody college student like me only exacerbates that reality."
Biden, with the help of several last-minute endorsements, managed to turn the tide of his campaign after his first abysmal primary results. His ability to answer questions for which he has not prepared, however, hasn't improved that we know of.
After a New Hampshire voter asks @JoeBiden why they should trust he can turn his campaign around, he asks if she’s ever been to a caucus before; when she says yes, Biden snaps: "No you haven’t. You’re a lying dog-faced pony soldier." pic.twitter.com/3uxOAu0Ues— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) February 9, 2020
The Hyde Amendment Showdown
Biden's temperament came in to question months before the Iowa caucus when pro-abortion activist K.C. Cayo attempted to discuss his recent reversal on the Hyde Amendment.
After decades of support, Biden changed his stance on the Amendment that barred federal funding of abortion; he even vowed to repeal the amendment after a heart-to-heart with his buddy Alyssa Milano. That reversal and accompanying mea culpa wasn't enough to placate the furthest left, however, and they weren't afraid to say so.
But the "bird-dog" activists, who prided themselves in confronting political candidates with tough questions, barely got half a thought out before Biden snapped back at them and even shoved his finger in Cayo's face during a June 2019 campaign event, also in Iowa.
After Biden attempted to skirt the accusation that he was too conservative on abortion (really?) and touted his work on the Violence Against Women Act, the activists attempted to get clarification.
"No, we're not talking about that," Cayo said. Before she was able to properly clarify, Biden and his finger shut down the line of questioning.
"Nobody has spoken about it, done more, or changed more than I have," he said before turning away and disappearing. Cayo shouted, "we deserve better" at his retreating frame.
"I wasn’t able to even finish my 30-second elevator pitch—I never got past the first sentence,” Cayo said of the interaction. “Just the fact that he wagged his finger at me in such a condescending manner is very telling."
That incident came on the heels of accusations that Biden had behaved inappropriately with women and young girls, often seen touching them or sniffing their hair when they weren't inviting him to do so.
Told Biden we need someone stronger on reproductive justice, and after his reversal on the Hyde Amendment, we asked him to protect assault survivors. He said “nobody has spoken about it, done more, or changed more than I have”. I told him we deserve better. pic.twitter.com/YDtS4Ehs2d— K.C. (they/them) (@thelocalmaniac8) June 11, 2019
You're a Damn Liar...Look, Fat, Look
At a December campaign event in Iowa, Biden became incensed when a supporter of then-candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren questioned Biden about his son Hunter's involvement with Ukraine and Burisma Holdings.
"[You] sent your son over there to get a job and work for a gas company that he had no experience in gas, nothing, in order to get access to the president...you’re selling access to the president just like he is," the voter said at the No Malarkey! campaign stop.
"You're a damn liar, man," Biden retorted. "That's not true. And no one has ever said that, and no one has heard that." At the time of the incident, coverage of Hunter's connection to Burisma was widely covered by every major news outlet.
Still offended by the question and unable to move on, Biden then sized up the 83-year-old man's stature and began challenging him to a series of physical tests.
"You see it on the TV?" Biden said, denying there was any chance the man had heard about malfeasance involving Hunter and Burisma, as he claimed. "No, I know you do. And by the way, that's why I'm not sedentary ... The reason I'm running is because I've been around a long time, and I know more than most people know, and I can get things done. That's why I'm running," Biden said. "And if you wanna check out my shape on, let's do push-ups together, man. Let's run, let's do whatever you want to do, let's take an IQ test."
The man continued, saying that he wasn't accusing Biden of doing anything wrong, per se, but he was seeking clarification on his role in Hunter's placement on the board of Burisma Holdings.
"You said I set up my son to work in an oil company, isn't that what you said?" Biden snapped back with increasing anger. "Get your word straight, jack." After further accusations that the man was lying to him by saying he heard about possible wrongdoing involving Hunter on MSNBC, Biden straight-out called the man "fat."
"Look, fat, Look, here's the deal," he said before trailing off. Biden also shoved his finger in the face of Fox News reporter Peter Doocy in September last year after being questioned over Hunter's relationship with Burisma and Ukraine. He refused to answer the question and lectured Doocy for even asking it.
WATCH: A tense exchange with a voter at ?@JoeBiden?’s event in New Hampton, IA this morning, where a voter started out by telling Biden he had two problems with him: he was too old, and his son’s work in Ukraine pic.twitter.com/ok7m0ShFPd— Molly Nagle (@MollyNagle3) December 5, 2019
Why, Why, Why, Why, Why?
At yet another Iowa event (maybe this is not a good state for Joe), Biden lost his temper with CBS reporter Ed O'Keefe when he asked the candidate a question about Sen. Bernie Sanders. At the time, as the candidates were preparing for early primary elections and Biden was lagging in the polls, a Sanders supporter published an op-ed in The Guardian claiming that Biden had a "big corruption problem." That article was widely shared with Sanders' supporters by the campaign.
Separately, the Biden campaign had already accused Sanders of releasing a "doctored" video of Biden claiming he would cut social security, a claim Biden starkly refuted. Eventually, Sanders apologized for the op-ed, saying it was written by someone who didn't officially work for the campaign. He did not apologize for the video.
After a speech in which Biden slammed Sanders, O'Keefe wanted to know why Bernie's apology hadn't been sufficient.
"Yesterday you said you accepted Bernie's apology now you're attacking him, why are you doing that?" O'Keefe asked as the gaggle of reporters hurriedly followed Biden off-stage. "Why wasn't his apology enough? Why attack Sanders?" O'Keefe's line of questions eventually stopped Biden in his tracks.
"Why, why, why, why, why, why, why?" Biden snapped as he turned around and raised his hands toward O'Keefe. Seeming to recognize he'd lost his temper, Biden attempted to morph back into Uncle Joe, placing his hands on O'Keefe's shoulders. "You're getting nervous, man. Calm down, it's okay. He apologized for saying that I was corrupt. He didn't say anything about whether or not I was telling the truth about Social Security."
Biden then pounded O'Keefe in the chest with a balled-up fist and walked away.
WATCH: After a campaign event in Mason City, Iowa, @joebiden reacts to @edokeefe's question about his ongoing feud with @berniesanders: "Calm down, it's okay." https://t.co/a2hmMbnjnf pic.twitter.com/ymOMWRR2zP— CBS News (@CBSNews) January 22, 2020
You're Full of Sh*t
Last night, amid the pageantry and fawning over Biden's gentile persona, Katie aptly recalled an incident in March when Biden came close to blows with a Detroit autoworker over a question regarding Second Amendment rights.
Joe is not a "nice guy." Maybe he used to be, but he isn't now. Whenever confronted on the campaign trail before the coronavirus lockdown, Biden would get angry with voters. Even telling a Detroit auto worker he was "full of sh*t" because he asked about the Second Amendment.— Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) August 19, 2020
During his visit to the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles assembly plant, a meet-and-greet meant to bolster Biden's good standing with union workers, Biden nearly melted down when one man, Jerry Wayne, asked him about his anti-gun policy stances.
The man asked simply, but directly, why Biden was "actively trying to end our Second Amendment rights and take away our guns."
"You're full of sh*t, man," Biden said stopping dead in his tracks and immediately pointing his finger in the man's face. The altercation spiraled quickly as Biden got intimidatingly close to Wayne and ranted nonsense about automatic weapons, machine guns, and mythical "AR-14" assault rifles. Wayne continued to try to wave Biden's pointing finger away from his face, saying "I'm not OK with this," but Biden's lost temper clearly got the better of him.
WATCH: "You’re full of sh*t," @JoeBiden tells a man who accused him of "actively trying to end our Second Amendment right."— Bo Erickson CBS (@BoKnowsNews) March 10, 2020
"I support the Second Amendment," Biden adds while vising under-construction auto plant in Detroit. @CBSNews pic.twitter.com/sueOSBaY9P
In a subsequent interview, Wayne expressed his surprise at Biden's furious response to what he felt was a straight-forward question.
"I thought I was pretty articulate and respectful," Wayne told Fox News. "I didn’t try to raise any — any feathers. And he kind of just went off the deep end. I saw that he was digging a hole. And I just kind of let him talk for a while to dig the hole." Wayne later made an ad for the National Rifle Association based on his viral interaction with Biden.
Although Biden's basement quarantine has spared him an untold number of awkward, unpleasant interactions with voters and the media, he has still managed to accuse a Black reporter of being a "junkie," told a Black radio host if he didn't support his bid for the White House he "ain't black," and said African Americans didn't have any diversity.
The Democrats' facade of "Biden the nice guy" seems to be based entirely on an idea of a man and not his actions. With or without the cover of his surrogates, Biden will eventually have to face real questions from the American people, who will be quickly reminded of his true persona.