Biden calls Trump a ‘lying, dog-faced pony soldier’ after debate

Biden calls Trump a ‘lying, dog-faced pony soldier’ after debate

President Joe Biden called his election rival Donald Trump a “lying, dog-faced pony solider” after the debate concluded, resurrecting an insult he used against a student during his campaign trail in 2020.

After Biden appeared to struggle throughout the first presidential debate of 2024, held in Atlanta, Georgia, with rambling answers and apparent low energy, the Democratic president and the First Lady, Jill Biden, went to attend a debate watch party after the event.

Biden and his wife made their way to a ballroom at a Hyatt Regency, where his campaign hosted a debate watch party for his supporters and – despite a performance that had many of his own supporters suggesting he be replaced as a candidate – were greeted with chants of “four more years!”

“I can’t thank you all enough,” Jill Biden said. “Joe did such a great job.”

As for her remarks on her husband’s Republican challenger, she asked: “What did Trump do? Lied!”

The president then spoke for a few minutes and thanked his supporters before calling Trump “a lying, dog-faced pony soldier.”

“They’re going to be out there fact-checking,” he added. “I can’t think of one thing that he said was true. Look, we’re going to beat this guy, and I need you in order to beat him. You are the reason why America is as good as we are.”

Biden has previously made the remark “lying, dog-faced pony soldier,” including in February 2020 when he used it to 21-year-old student Madison Moore at a town hall after she asked Biden whether voters should believe he could win the general election that year after his poor performance in the Iowa caucus.

“It was a Democratic caucus. Ever been to a caucus?” Biden asked, to which the student nodded yes.

He replied: “Sure you haven’t. You’re a lying, dog-faced pony soldier … It was a little bit confusing in Iowa, number one.”

Donald Trump and Joe Biden at the first presidential debate of 2024. Biden’s performance was defined by his weak appearance and rambling thoughts, while Trump dodged questions and spread misinformation (AP)

The jab was met with a mix of laughter and confusion, and the student later said it was “kind of humiliating to be called a liar on national TV by the former vice president.”

“Instead of answering that question straight-forward, his immediate response was to attempt to invalidate me by exposing my inexperience,” she told Georgia’s The Telegraph in 2020.

His campaign at the time said the line was from a western starring John Wayne in which a Native American chief supposedly calls him a “lying, dog-faced pony soldier.” However, the phrase appears to have muddled several John Wayne film references together.

The now-president had used the confusing line before that incident, in 2018 at an event supporting then-North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp, using it to describe her opponent, Kevin Cramer.

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Biden told the crowd: “As my brother, who loves to use lines from movies, from John Wayne movies, there’s a line in a movie, a John Wayne movie where an Indian chief turns to John Wayne and says, ‘This is a lying, dog-faced pony soldier.’”

However, the phrase actually appears to mash together lines from 1949’s She Wore a Yellow Ribbon and 1953’s Hondo, as well as Pony Soldier, starring Tyrone Power. The line as spoken by Biden doesn’t seem to be in any of Wayne’s movies.

Biden also reportedly used the term last year while visiting Vietnam after attending the G20 summit in India, stating onstage that “there’s a lot of lying, dog-faced pony soldiers out there about global warming.”