Joe Biden Says Climate Deniers A Dying Cohort Of 'Lying Dog-Faced Pony Soldiers'

President Joe Biden said Sunday there were plenty of climate-denying “dog-faced pony soldiers” out there, but their numbers are dwindling as the world takes serious steps to address the climate crisis.

The president was in Vietnam after the Group of 20 summit in New Delhi. His unusual comment came amid a question about rich nations failing to reach an agreement to phase out fossil fuels during the event this month, although Biden noted nations had agreed to dramatically increase renewable energy resources.

“There’s a lot of lying, dog-faced pony soldiers out there about global warming,” the president said, referencing a classic movie. “But not anymore. All of the sudden they’re all realizing it’s a problem.”

“And there’s nothing like seeing the light,” Biden added.

The president went on to say that even though the G20 hadn’t taken steps to limit the production of fossil fuels, nations had, in fact, made strides toward reaching some sort of agreement before the United Nations’ annual climate summit in Dubai later this year.

“All kidding aside … Did you ever think you’d be sitting at a G20 conference where everyone was preoccupied with the notion of global warming?” Biden said. “Did you ever think that?”

Environmental groups were less than pleased, despite the president’s assurances. Greenpeace International said the G20 leaders had “collectively failed to deliver anything meaningful on climate change this year.”

“Fossil fuels are killing us, and the G20’s reckless failure to act will be measured in further lives and livelihoods lost,” Tracy Carey, global climate politics expert at the group, said in a statement. “Leaders failed to reach agreement on the phase out of coal, oil and gas. They also made a timid commitment to triple renewables, but only through ‘existing targets and policies.’”

Biden has invoked the unusual diss before. While campaigning for the presidency in 2020, he called a voter a “lying dog-face pony soldier.” The president has explained that his brother liked to use lines from old movies and said he believed the expression came from a John Wayne film. But some say he’s probably referencing a 1952 Tyrone Power film called “Pony Soldier.”

Regardless of the origin, Biden’s staffers have explained the phrase has been used by him in jest and that he’s “made it plenty of times before.”