Democratic 2020 US presidential candidate and former US Vice President Joe Biden. Picture: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters/African News Agency (ANA)
Democratic 2020 US presidential candidate and former US Vice President Joe Biden. Picture: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters/African News Agency (ANA)

WATCH: Joe Biden finds social media buzz with viral video suggesting Donald Trump is laughing stock

By By Trevor Hunnicutt And James Oliphant Time of article published Dec 6, 2019

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For a candidate who has struggled at times

to get noticed on social media, Joe Biden finally got some

online attention on Thursday - for better or worse.

First, the Biden campaign posted a video on Twitter that

brutally took down President Donald Trump, suggesting he is the laughing stock to other world leaders. Then a heated

back-and-forth with an Iowa voter quickly went viral.

Together, the moments generated a digital buzz that has

often eluded Biden, whose campaign appeals most to traditional,

older Democratic voters. Such attention has generally been

enjoyed instead by some of his chief rivals in the 2020

Democratic presidential race.

The 77-year-old former vice president continues to lead

among Democrats in national polls and has so far withstood

challenges from US Senator Elizabeth Warren and others in the

battle for the party's nomination to take on Trump in the

November 2020 election.

The normally affable Biden lost his composure at a campaign

event in New Hampton, Iowa, on Thursday, sparring with a man in

the crowd who questioned him about his role in the Ukraine

scandal that has been dogging Trump.

"You're a damn liar, man," Biden told the man, who suggested

without evidence that Biden had helped his son Hunter land a

lucrative position with the Ukrainian oil company Burisma.

"No one has said my son has done anything wrong," Biden

said. "Get your words straight, jack."

Trump's request that Ukraine launch an investigation

targeting Joe Biden is at the center of the impeachment probe of

the president being conducted by the US House of

Representatives.

Trump has accused the Bidens of corruption, without offering

evidence. They have denied wrongdoing, and the allegations have

not been substantiated.

The heckler at the Iowa event also questioned Biden's

fitness for office. Biden responded by challenging the man to a

push-up contest or an IQ test - and appeared at one point to

call him "fat."

The video of the exchange quickly made the rounds on

Twitter. Trump's re-election campaign posted it, suggesting that

Biden had gone "berserk."

A Biden campaign aide later said online that Biden had said

"facts," not "fat."

Earlier, the Biden campaign had been basking in accolades

for its Twitter post playing off a clip taken at a NATO summit

in Britain this week that appeared to show Canadian Prime

Minister Justin Trudeau joking about Trump's press appearances

during a chat with other world leaders.

"The world is laughing," read the text over that clip and

others of Trump's trips abroad. "We need a leader the world

respects."

Democratic pundits and strategists on Twitter praised the

spot as perhaps Biden's most effective yet. As of Thursday

evening, it had garnered more than 9 million views. The campaign

soon posted it to Facebook and told Reuters it was also

promoting it to likely caucus-goers in the early presidential

nominating state of Iowa on Instagram, YouTube and Hulu.

The campaign also used the video in a fundraising pitch on

Thursday, asking supporters to help turn the online ad into a TV

spot.

"TV ads are expensive. We want to raise $150 000 today,"

read an email from the campaign.

The Twitter spot was conceived and produced in-house, the

Biden campaign said. "When (Biden) saw the painful reception

that Trump received from world leaders representing countries

that have traditionally been strong American allies, it struck a

chord and he felt the need to speak out," a Biden aide said.

The Trump campaign condemned it.

"As the president has said, Joe Biden claims that foreign

leaders have told him they want him to win the election. Of

course they do, they want to keep ripping off the United States

like they did before Trump became president," campaign spokesman

Tim Murtaugh said.

Biden's campaign was endorsed on Thursday by John Kerry, the

former US senator and 2004 Democratic presidential nominee.

Kerry was also secretary of state under Democratic President

Barack Obama, whom Biden served as vice president.

"I've never before seen the world more in need of someone

who on day one can begin the incredibly hard work of putting

back together the world Donald Trump has smashed apart," Kerry

said in a statement, crediting Biden's help on fighting Islamic

State and striking a deal on Iran's nuclear program.

Kerry will join Biden on the campaign trail on Friday in

Iowa and on Sunday in New Hampshire. The states will be the

first to vote on a Democratic nominee next February, and Kerry

won both states in the 2004 primaries.

Reuters

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