Former Vice President Joe Biden uttered an odd line during a question and answer session in New Hampshire over the weekend, calling a voter a “lying dog-face pony soldier.”
At an event in Hampton, 21-year-old student Madison Moore asked Biden why he fared so poorly in the Iowa caucuses, where he came in fourth place.
“Iowa’s a Democratic caucus,” Biden said. “You ever been to a caucus?”
Moore nodded yes, but Biden wasn’t buying it.
“No, you haven’t,” he said. “You’re a lying dog-faced pony soldier.”
Biden has had some tense moments on the campaign trail, including calling a voter in Iowa a “damn liar.” Last month, he told someone to “go vote for somebody else.” In this case, the line was a joke and many in the room laughed, including the woman who questioned him. However, she later issued a statement saying that while she had never been to a caucus, she didn’t appreciate the comment.
“It is totally irrelevant whether I’ve been to a caucus or not,” Moore told The Washington Post. “Joe Biden has been performing incredibly poorly in this race. His inability to answer a simple question from a nobody college student like me only exacerbates that reality.”
Biden has used the line before. Reuters reported that he has said it’s a reference to the 1953 John Wayne movie “Hondo.” A search of the script revealed a few references to pony soldiers and lying, but not together nor with the dog-faced portion.
Some on social media suggested Biden may have been referencing “Pony Soldier,” a 1952 film that starred Tyrone Power and not John Wayne. However, according to Slate, the line as Biden used it never appeared in that film, either.
Regardless of the origin, the strange insult/joke left Twitter users flummoxed: