Biden Curses at Detroit Autoworker During Gun Rights Argument

March 10, 2020 Updated: March 10, 2020
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Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden cursed and appeared to threaten a Detroit autoworker on March 10 during an argument over gun rights.

The former vice president told the unidentified worker that he is “full of [expletive]” and called him a “horse’s [expletive].”

The confrontation occurred amid a crowd of hardhat-clad workers at the Fiat Chrysler plant in Detroit, Michigan. Several videos of the argument were posted online.

“You are actively trying to end our Second Amendment rights and take away our guns,” the worker said to Biden.

“You’re full of [expletive],” Biden said before turning to “shush” a campaign official who tried to cut the conversation short.

“I support the Second Amendment … from the very beginning. I have a shotgun. I have 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. Do you need a hundred rounds?”

The worker then challenged Biden over what appears to be the viral video of Biden telling a rally in Dallas, Texas, that former Rep. Beto O’Rourke “will be the one who leads” Biden’s gun-control effort.

Before dropping out of the presidential race, O’Rourke said, “Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15.” He also warned that those popular and legal rifles are “weapons of war, designed to kill people efficiently on a battlefield” and promised to “buy back every single assault weapon.”

Biden denied saying he would take people’s guns away while pointing at the worker’s face.

“This is not OK,” the worker said while waving his hand protectively between his face and Biden’s finger.

“Don’t tell me that, pal, or I’m going to go outside with you,” Biden responded as he turned to walk away.

“You’re working for me, man,” the worker shot back.

“I’m not working … Give me a break, man. Don’t be such a horse’s [expletive],” Biden said. “Look. Here’s the deal. Are you able to own a machine gun?”

“Machine guns are illegal,” the auto worker responded.

“That’s right. So are AR-15 are illegal,” Biden said.

“That’s not a machine gun. It’s a semi-automatic,” the worker responded.

“Do you need a hundred rounds? Do you need a hundred rounds?” Biden shouted.

“There are more deaths in America from handguns than there are from what you call ‘assault rifles.’ Why are you advocating for assault rifles when people are dying from handguns?” the worker asked.

Biden turned away without offering a response.

The confrontation is the latest in a series of tense confrontations and gaffes Biden has had on the campaign trail. The Trump and Sanders campaigns both drew attention on social media to the tense exchange. Asked for his reaction, Biden said, “I’m surprised that Sanders is joining Trump.” The Biden campaign didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Biden made the comments as voters flocked to polling places for the 2020 primary elections in Idaho, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, and Washington. A total of 352 delegates to the national convention were on the line with polls still open in every state.

The race to determine which Democrat will face President Donald Trump in November narrowed to just two viable candidates by March 10: Biden and socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

Biden’s campaign surged after a victory on Super Tuesday and endorsements from former primary rivals, including Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), and billionaire Michael Bloomberg.

Biden led Sanders by nearly 100 delegates ahead of the March 10 primaries. Polls tallied by Real Clear Politics showed the former vice president in the lead both in the national stage and in Michigan, Missouri, and Washington.

Correction: A previous version of this article misquoted part of Biden’s statement, which has since been updated based on a better-quality audio recording.

Follow Ivan on Twitter: @ivanpentchoukov