Former Vice President Joe Biden got into an altercation over gun rights with a Michigan auto worker at a campaign stop on Tuesday — an argument that ended with Biden threatening to “slap” the man and vowing to take away his “AR-14.”
The incident, captured on video, shows Biden getting extremely agitated during a casual question-and-answer session with line workers at a Michigan auto factory — members of a demographic Biden desperately needs to win over in order to make a play for the all-important battleground state.
The audio is shaky, but some of Biden’s words come through loud and clear.
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
The worker accuses Biden of “actively trying to end our Second Amendment rights,” apparently referring to Biden’s decision to appoint former Congressman and failed presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke, who campaigned on gun confiscation, as his campaign’s lead on gun policy.
“You’re full of sh**!” Biden responds, getting in the man’s face.
“I support the 2nd Amendment,” he added, getting angry. “The 2nd Amendment, just like right now if you yell fire, that’s not free speech. I have a shotgun…my sons hunt. I’m not taking your guns away at all.”
But Biden wasn’t finished with the man, who stood near the former vice president during a campaign photo opportunity just minutes earlier. Biden can be heard calling the worker a “horse’s a**,” telling him that “you don’t need an AR-14” (apparently referring to the common weapon, the AR-15), and then threatening to “slap” the man “in the face.”
Biden does go into some detail on the “AR-14,” calling it a “machine gun” and claiming it holds “100 rounds.”
Biden continues to rage at the man as aides try to pull him away. One woman, clearly in charge of wrangling the former vice president, tells some of the auto workers, who are filming the exchange, that the former veep has to move on.
“Alright, thank you guys …” she says, trying desperately to pull Biden away.
The exchange won Biden no fans. In fact, a different video shows some of the autoworkers breaking out in a change of “Trump! Trump! Trump!” as Biden exits the facility.
"Trump! Trump! Trump! Trump! Trump! Trump!"
— Trump War Room – Text EMPOWER to 88022 (@TrumpWarRoom) March 10, 2020
Biden needs a win in Michigan, which is holding its primary today, to put away Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). So far, he’s running 20 points ahead of the Vermont socialist, per a poll released earlier this week, but the polls are still open and it’s clear Biden isn’t winning any fans among the state’s working class population — a demographic that responded well to President Donald Trump’s message of economic populism in 2016, handing him a victory in the state over then-Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton.
The Democratic Party has also chosen to unite behind Biden as the “moderate” candidate in the hopes that he will lure back blue collar Democrat voters in Rust Belt and battleground states like Michigan; it’s a calculus that might not pay a dividend, given how difficult Biden has been on the campaign trail.