Traveling through Iowa with Joe Biden, a reporter asserted that one of his rival contenders for the Democratic nomination, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, was enjoying enthusiasm in the early-voting state.
The former vice president scoffed.
“You don’t see that with Warren,” he shot back in the Monday exchange, according to The Wall Street Journal. “Stop kidding a kidder, OK? C’mon, man. Give me a break.”
While Biden is still leading the crowded pack of Democratic candidates nationally, he has struggled to resonate in Iowa. As of Sunday, the RealClear Politics polling average showed Biden with 16.3% of the Democratic vote in Iowa ― a dip of more than 1 percentage point from the previous month. Warren, who once dominated the state’s polls, remained slightly ahead of Biden with 17.7%, but her support has slipped 5 points in the previous month.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is on the rise in the state with 18.3% ― a 5-point increase from October. Meanwhile, Iowa front-runner Pete Buttigieg climbed to 24%.
The candidates have seen similar trajectories in New Hampshire, another early-voting state. But in Nevada and South Carolina, which also vote early in the primary cycle, Biden maintains a commanding lead over second-place Warren.
In his criticism Monday, Biden also took a swipe at Warren’s spending on advertising in Iowa. Warren’s spokesperson told HuffPost the “campaign is not on air” there, and ran no television ads during her 2018 Senate reelection.
Warren’s campaign hit back at Biden’s remarks on Monday night, tweeting that it had secured “2 million+ grassroots donations (and 90k+ selfies) for a candidate who’s never run for president before.” Warren, her campaign said, is “the fastest first-time presidential candidate ever to hit those milestones of grassroots enthusiasm.”