Joe Biden has been in lockdown from the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, holing up in the basement of his house in Wilmington, Delaware.
While the mainstream media has virtually applauded Biden’s mostly virtual life, the Democratic presidential candidate took a boatload of grief from a heckler in Pittsburgh on Monday.
“Hey Joe, you finally got out of the basement!” the man shouted as Biden climbed out of a black SUV, awkwardly holding three pizzas he brought to a fire station.
“The man was waving a Trump flag as he stood on top of a truck. Biden’s response to him: ‘Don’t jump,'” Tyler Pager, a national political reporter for Bloomberg News, wrote on Twitter.
Biden was being heckled by a Trump supporter as he arrived to deliver pizzas. The man was waving a Trump flag as he stood on top of a truck. Biden’s response to him: “Don’t jump.” pic.twitter.com/yWIOIJ6IPB
— Tyler Pager (@tylerpager) August 31, 2020
The man continued to heckle Biden, saying, “You’re for fracking now? You were against fracking!”
Biden had finally left his basement to deliver a speech in Pittsburgh. Biden claimed during his speech on Monday, “I am not banning fracking. No matter how many times Donald Trump lies about me.”
But in a presidential debate this year, Biden said, “No more — no new fracking.”
“No ability for the oil industry to continue to drill. Period. Ends,” he said.
Steve Guest, the GOP’s rapid response director, put out a montage of Biden talking about fracking and fossil fuels.
Roll the tape!
Joe Biden wants to eliminate fracking. pic.twitter.com/XishCd77zh
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) August 31, 2020
The heckler was relentless.
“Hey Joe, who paid for those pizzas? Hey Joe, who — Trump would have gave us steak!” he yelled.
NBC News praised Biden for coming out of his basement: “Looking lively and speaking forcefully, he condemned unwarranted police violence, rioting and looting, and militia activity. Then he laid the blame for all of it at Trump’s feet.”
“The fires are burning,” Biden said, “and we have a president who fans the flames rather than fighting them.”
“These are not images from some imagined ‘Joe Biden’s America’ in the future — these are images from Donald Trump’s America today,” he said. “The simple truth is Donald Trump failed to protect America. So now, he’s trying to scare America.”
For the first time since riots broke out following the death of George Floyd while in police custody on May 25, Biden took a hard line against the violence and looting.
“I want to be clear about this: Rioting is not protesting. Looting is not protesting. Setting fires is not protesting,” Biden said. “Those who do it should be prosecuted. Violence will not bring change, only destruction. It’s wrong in every way. It divides instead of unites.”
The Trump campaign released a statement in response accusing Biden of failing to “condemn the left-wing mobs burning, looting and terrorizing American cities.”
Trump also took to Twitter to hit his opponent.
“Just watched what Biden had to say,” Trump wrote. “To me, he’s blaming the Police far more than he’s blaming the Rioters, Anarchists, Agitators, and Looters, which he could never blame or he would lose the Radical Left Bernie supports!”
Related: BASEMENT BOUND: Biden Says He Won’t Hold Campaign Rallies Due To Pandemic