With less than a week to go before the Iowa caucuses, former vice president Joe Biden is hoping to shore up his support with his "No Malarkey!" tour, on which his appearances are getting surprisingly heated. On Tuesday, Biden sparred with an Iowa voter, former state representative Ed Fallon, who asked him about his stance on climate—specifically, he brought up Biden's claim to be against building pipelines while also calling to replace older pipelines. "We've got to stop building and replacing these pipelines," Fallon said.
"You oughta go vote for someone else," Biden says, repeatedly pressing on the man's chest.
Biden's aides tried to wrap up the interaction there, thanking the man, but Biden wasn't done, pointing at him and asking, "Are you gonna vote for me in the primary?"
"I'm gonna vote for you in the general if you treat me right," Fallon says with a laugh.
"You're asking a picture of me, coming in to tell me you don't support me, my plan," Biden says, moving to stand directly face-to-face with Fallon.
"I said I would support you in the general," Fallon says.
"In the general. I'm running for a primary, a caucus, that's what I'm running for, okay?" Biden then puts his hands on Fallon's jacket. "Now, you believe that Bernie can do something and by 2030?"
"I'm actually supporting Tom Steyer," says Fallon.
Biden may have assumed that Fallon was supporting Vermont senator Bernie Sanders, who jumped to the top in several polls coming out of Iowa, since the two candidates have been tussling over climate change recently. A week earlier, Biden, who has previously said he wants a "middle ground" on climate change, criticized Sanders's climate plan, saying, "There's not a single solitary scientist that thinks it can work." The Sanders campaign has since released a letter signed by 57 climate scientists calling his plan "realistic, necessary, and backed by science."
Tom Steyer, a billionaire also running for president, chastised Biden's reaction to Fallon, tweeting, "This is no way to treat an Iowan. He said he'd vote for the Dem in the general b/c he knows how important it is to beat Trump. We need immediate action on climate. If you don't agree, happy to talk @ debate. But don't take it out on voters we need to win in Nov."
This isn't the first time that Biden has butted heads with voters, telling them not to bother supporting him rather than engaging with their questions. In December, a member of the Sunrise Movement, a youth-driven climate activist organization that promotes the Green New Deal, asked Biden why he chose Heather Zichal, who reportedly made over $1 million working for natural gas company Cheniere Energy, as a climate-change adviser. Biden first wrongly denied that Zichal had that role, then told the man, "If you looked at my record and still doubt about my commitment, go vote for somebody else."
Similarly, in November 2019, a member of the immigrant-rights group Movimiento Cosecha confronted Biden at a campaign event over the Obama administration's hyper-aggressive deportation policy. Biden replied, "You should vote for Trump."
Even when he doesn't explicitly tell potential voters to take their votes elsewhere, Biden is still prone to confrontational public interactions. Late last year, he spectacularly got into it at a campaign event with a man who brought up his son Hunter's involvement with a Ukrainian energy company and then suggested that Biden was too old to be president. "You're a damn liar, man," Biden replied.
"I'm not sedentary. I get up," he angrily continued. "Look: 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. And you want to check my shape, let's do push-ups together, man. Let's run. Let's do whatever you wanna do. Let's take an IQ test." In the end, the two men did not engage in any feats of physical or mental stamina.
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Originally Appeared on GQ