President Joe Biden is known to throw a tantrum every now and then, especially when he is frustrated or caught off guard by a question or statement. It’s a trait we saw throughout the 2020 election, both on the campaign trail and during debates.
We saw Biden tell a Michigan autoworker he is “full of sh**” for believing the then-candidate was in favor of gun confiscation. He also flipped at a reporter for asking about Hunter Biden fathering a child while dating his brother’s widow. And who could forget the debate where Biden called Trump a “clown” because he was frustrated about it being “hard to get any word in”?
Throughout his nearly 50 years in politics, Biden has produced multiple similarly-fiery moments. Here are a few notable examples of when Joe Biden’s temper got the best of him.
1987: Biden challenges a voter over who has a higher IQ
During a 1987 presidential campaign event in Claremont, New Hampshire, Sen. Biden challenged a voter over who had the higher IQ.
“What law school did you attend and where did you place in that class?” a person in the crowd asked.
Biden quickly responded by listing off his supposed academic accomplishments.
“I think I probably have a higher IQ than you, I suspect,” Biden replied to the man. “I went to law school on a full academic scholarship, the only one in my class to have a full academic scholarship. The first year in law school I decided I didn’t want to be in law school and ended up in the bottom two-thirds of my class and then decided I wanted to stay.”
According to the then-senator, he returned to law school his second year and eventually graduated in the top half of his class.
“I won the international moot court competition. I was the outstanding student in the political science department at the end of my year,” he explained. “I graduated with three degrees from undergraduate school and 165 credits, only needed 123 credits, and I’d be delighted to sit down and compare my IQ to yours if you’d like, Frank.”
According to Newsweek, Biden lied about his academic achievements.
“On the tape Biden appears hyper, glib, intellectually insecure. But there is another problem: Biden did not go to Syracuse Law School on a ‘full academic scholarship.’ He went on a half scholarship based on financial need,” the outlet reported at the time. “He didn’t finish in the ‘top half’ of his class. He was 76th out of 85. If he won an international moot-court competition, he has inexplicably neglected to list it on his resume. He did not win the award given to the outstanding political-science student at his undergraduate college, the University of Delaware. Finally, he didn’t graduate from Delaware with ‘three degrees,’ but with a single B.A. in political science and history.”
At the time, Biden released a statement to The New York Times explaining the discrepancies:
I graduated from the University of Delaware with a double major in history and political science. My reference to degrees at the Claremont event was intended to refer to these majors – I said “three” and should have said “two.”
With regard to my being the outstanding student in the political science department, my name was put up for that award by David Ingersoll, who is still at the University of Delaware.
My recollection is — and I’d have to confirm this — but I don’t recall paying any money to go to law school.
I exaggerate when I’m angry but I’ve never gone around telling people things that aren’t true about me.
1994: Biden delivers a speech about the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act
Judiciary Committee Chairman Joe Biden made a case for the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, a bill he co-authored with former Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT).
“The Biden-Hatch crime bill, as it becomes law, God-willing, I hope that we will have ended, once and for all, this notion that is a hangover from the 60s that somehow Democrats are weak on crime and Democratic presidents are weak on crime, and Republicans are tough on crime,” Biden said during a floor speech. “The truth is that every major crime bill since 1976 that’s come out of this Congress — every minor crime bill — has had the name of the Democratic senator from the state of Delaware, Joe Biden, on that bill and has had a majority vote of the Democratic members of the United States Senate on the bill.”
According to Biden, his goal with the 1994 crime bill was to “end crime” and end the “carnage” that stems from the idea that Democrats are weak on crime.
“Crime is not Democrat or Republican. Making the streets safe is not a Democratic or Republican issue,” he explained. “This is one of those issues, I hope, this passage of this bill will do — will be taken out of the gridlock category and move into an emerging consensus.”
Biden indicated he’s uninterested in learning about a person’s background and how their upbringing resulted in a life of crime.
“It doesn’t matter whether or not they’re the victims of society. The end result is they’re going to knock my mother on the head with a lead pipe, shoot my sister, beat up my wife, take on my sons,” Biden said. “So I don’t want to ask what made them do this. They must be taken off the street! That’s number one. There’s a consensus on that.”
He made the argument that elected officials have to “do something” for the “cadres of young people” who were born out of out wedlock and without adequate parent supervision because they weren’t properly “socialized.”
Since then, the 1994 crime bill has been considered the source behind the further incarceration rate of black Americans, particularly low-level offenders. It’s something both conservatives and progressives have agreed upon.
September 2019: Biden scolds Fox News’ Peter Doocy for not asking Trump questions about the Ukrainian whistleblower.
While on the campaign trail in Iowa, Fox News reporter Peter Doocy asked Biden about his “admission that he used his position as Vice President to shut down a Ukrainian prosecutor who was investigating a company that was employing Biden’s son,” The Daily Wire reported at the time.
“Mr. Vice President, how many times have you ever spoken to your son about his overseas business dealings?” Fox News reporter Peter Doocy asked.
“I’ve never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings,” Biden replied.
“And so how do you know …” Doocy said, attempting to ask a question.
“Here’s what I know,” Biden replied, pointing his finger in Doocy’s face. “I know Trump deserves to be investigated. He is violating every basic norm of a president. You should be asking him the question: why is he on the phone with a foreign leader, trying to intimidate a foreign leader, if that’s what happened?”
Biden turned to others in the press pool and encouraged them to “look into Trump.”
“I’ll beat him like a drum,” Biden said about President Trump. “And he’s using an abuse of power and every element of the presidency to try and do something to smear me.”
According to Biden, “Everybody looked at this and everybody’s looked at it and said there’s nothing there.”
He turned back to Doocy. “Ask the right questions!” he shouted at the reporter.
November 2019: Biden faces off with Doocy again, this time over Hunter Biden fathering a child with a stripper.
In 2019, reports surfaced that Hunter Biden fathered a child with Lunden Alexis Robert, a stripper he met in Washington, D.C. When Peter Doocy asked Joe Biden about the situation, the former vice president became irritated.
“Mr. Vice President, I’m wondering: do you have a comment on this report and court filing out of Arkansas that your son Hunter just made you a grandfather?” the reporter asked.
“No, that’s a private matter,” Biden replied.
“I have no comment. But only you would ask that,” he said, pointing to Doocy. “You’re a good man. You’re a good man.”
“Thank you,” Doocy replied.
“Classy,” Biden said with a smirk.
Here's a different angle provided via Fox News that shows Biden's facial expression as he was asked the question, which is a legitimate news question
Biden clearly seems agitated pic.twitter.com/23OB1xyz28
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) November 21, 2019
A court-ordered paternity test concluded Hunter Biden is the father of the baby, per a report from The Daily Wire.
February 2020: Biden calls a college student a “lying dog-faced pony soldier.”
After Biden suffered a loss in the Iowa Caucuses, a college student named Madison asked why New Hampshire voters should support him.
“You’re arguably at the greatest advantage in this race. You’ve been the vice president … how do you explain the performance in Iowa, and why should the voters believe that you can win a national election?” the student asked.
“That’s a good question. Number one, Iowa is a Democratic Caucus,” Biden replied. “You ever been to a caucus?”
The student indicated she had.
“No you haven’t,” Biden replied. “You’re a lying dog-faced pony soldier.”
“You said you were but now you gotta be honest. I’m gonna be honest with you,” Biden explained. “It was a little bit confusing in Iowa, number one. Let’s assume it was all, everything was exactly right in Iowa. The idea that you come in with half the delegates that the leaders come in with in Iowa does not necessarily say how you’re gonna win.”
After the event, the student issued her own statement, reported The Daily Wire.
“A lot of what he’s saying seems to be very pathos spaced and very sad,” she said in an interview with Fox News. “We have heard a lot about deaths and cancer and people losing their jobs and to me, he doesn’t seem very solution-oriented. … I don’t think he has the momentum to carry this to a national election.”
March 2020: Biden tells a Michigan autoworker he’s “full of sh**!”
At an auto plant in Detroit Michigan, an employee questioned Biden about his gun control agenda. At the time, Biden announced that former Congressman and failed presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke would champion his anti-gun policies.
“You’re actively trying to end our Second Amendment right and take away our guns,” the autoworker said.
“You’re full of sh**!” Biden replied.
When another autoworker tried to jump into the conversation, Biden said “shush, shush.”
“I support the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment — just like right now if you yell ‘fire!’ that’s not free speech — from the very beginning, I have a shotgun, a 20 gauge, a 12 gauge, my sons hunt — guess what? You’re not allowed to own any weapon. I’m not taking your gun away at all.”
WATCH: "You’re full of sh*t," @JoeBiden tells a man who accused him of "actively trying to end our Second Amendment right."
— Bo Erickson CBS (@BoKnowsNews) March 10, 2020
Beth Baumann is a Political Reporter and Editor at The Daily Wire. Follow her on Twitter @eb454.