During his two-day visit to Iowa on the campaign trail, former vice president and 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden stopped at a cafe in Eldridge, a small city in Iowa with a population of about 6,100, and he had a chance to speak to locals on June 11. One of the questions Biden was asked was about fellow Democratic primary runner, Bernie Sanders.
Someone at the cafe asked Biden what he thinks about Bernie Sanders calling himself a democratic socialist when he is a Democrat, Joe Biden said, “I think Bernie means what he says.”
At the same time, a customer at the place offered Biden a “cup of joe, Joe?,” to which Biden agreed. He continued answering the question slowly as he sat down—choosing his words carefully: “Look, I just think we got a lot of really good candidates out there and they’re making their case. I don’t put a whole lot in terms of labels.
“I just think … if you think about it, the vast majority of the members who are running, the folks who are running, they’re all kind of on the same page, as we relate—to a differing degree … but we all think that to be … if not universal, close to universal health care, we all think we gotta improve education, we all think we gotta have a foreign policy that embraces our friends and does not embrace our enemies.
“You know, there’s a whole lot going on, and so—look, I’m not gonna comment on Bernie’s act characterization of who or what he is. He’s sure about what he thinks and I think he should go out and say it.”
During his visit to Iowa, at some point, Biden was approached by a student activist based in Wisconsin named K.C. Cayo, according to a report by Vice.
Cayo wrote her story for Vice. She wrote that she and her friend Fran got in Biden’s selfie line to ask him a question. Fran began with asking Biden if he was “interested in reforming and restructuring the courts,” to which Biden allegedly answered, “I need to think about it.”
Cayo reached out to shake his hand and continued asking questions where her friend Fran had left off, and said, “Ok, that’s great, because we’re personally very concerned with your stance on abortion, which is a lot more conservative.”
Cayo said she was particularly concerned about his “less-than-24 hour flip on the Hyde Amendment.”
That’s where things got confusing according to Cayo. She said Biden talked about the Violence Against Women Act as a “tactic to deflect” her and her friend, “as if he didn’t understand what the Hyde Amendment was.”
She then said to Biden, “No, we’re not talking about that.” She said she asked him to protect survivors, and then “he leaned in very close to my face, and started wagging his finger at me.”
Cayo said that Biden told her, “Nobody has spoken about it, done more, or changed more than I have.”
As Biden walked away, she shouted to him, “We deserve better.” She told Vice that she then left because they didn’t want anything to escalate or get into a shouting match.
In her written story to Vice, she expanded on her thinking.
“I’m behind the I Believe Survivors movement, but aside from that, I can now make the connection between the man I saw and the man accused of harassment by multiple women. I saw a man capable of those things: A man who can’t take responsibility, who doesn’t respect women, and who gets in their personal space. He got angry and started to raise his voice, and I think it was an intimidation tactic. There’s no reason to wag your finger at a woman or reprimand them for asking questions about things you have been in the press for just last week.
“Ideally, Biden would have said, “I see where you’re coming from; I see where what I said [about the Hyde Amendment] was harmful or problematic. Here are some ideas I have to protect women.” Or he could have said, “I plan to come up with some ideas.” He could have taken any amount of responsibility for his views. Going in, none of us really believed that would happen, but there’s always a possibility for someone to show they’re capable of change.”
Cayo had tweeted the photo. One of the funnier responses making light of her being finger-wagged at by an elder was from @rob_sheridan, which said, “Now you listen here young lady, when I was your age women didn’t put jewelry in their nose and they certainly didn’t sass-talk their elders, you hear me? So maybe a little less avocado toast and little more appreciation for all the work I’ve done for you lady-types!”
Another reply by @Becca2400 shared a similar finger-wagging photo of Hillary Clinton.
And back to Bernie Sanders, another humorous tweet showed a GIF of Bernie Sanders doing the finger wave as well.
— Just a Grandma in Alabama (@linda3_4) June 12, 2019