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Former vice president questioned about his age and son’s Ukraine employment in New Hampton stop

Former vice president questioned about his age and son's Ukraine employment in New Hampton stop
Former Vice President Joe Biden listens to New Hampton retired farmer Merle Gorman during a campaign stop in New Hampton Thursday. New Hampton Tribune photo by Bob Fenske
Press Staff Report

Part of former Vice President Joe Biden’s swing through the area included a campaign stop in New Hampton Thursday, where a tense exchange with a retired farmer turned into a sound bite that then led national news reports throughout the day.

Biden, 77, and Merle Gorman, 83, of New Hampton, had a sometimes heated exchange when Gorman brought up Biden’s age and actions by Biden’s son, Hunter, in Ukraine.

Here is the exchange that took place at the Chickasaw Event Center, as transcribed from multiple video recordings:

Gorman: I’m a retired farmer, and I’m not a Republican. OK. I’ve got two problems with you. One, you’re damn near as old as I am. You’re too old. I’m 83, and I know damn well I don’t have the mental faculties I did when I was 30 years old.

All right, the other question I want you to answer, we all know Trump, uh… has been messing around in Ukraine over there, holding their foreign aid for them to come up and say they’re going to investigate you. We know all about that crap. And he’s no backbone, we know that.

But you, on the other hand, sent your son over there to get a job and work for a gas company that he had no experience with gas, or nothing, in order to get access for the president, so you’re selling access to the president just like he was, so you were. …

Biden, interrupting: You’re a damn liar, man. That’s not true. And no one has ever said that, no one inferred that …

Gorman: I seen it on the TV …

Biden: You see it on the TV, yeah, I know you do. And by the way that’s why I’m not sedentary. I get up and …

Look, the reason I’m running is because I’ve been around a long time and I know more than most people know, and I can get things done. That’s why I’m running.

And you want to check my shape on it, let’s do pushups together here, man, let’s run, let’s do whatever you want to do. Let’s take an IQ test, OK? No. 1.

No. 2, no one has said my son has done anything wrong, and I did not on any occasion …, and no one’s ever said it, not once …

Gorman: I didn’t say you were doing anything wrong …

Biden: You said I set up my son to work in an oil company. Isn’t that what you said? Get your words straight, Jack.

Gorman: That’s what I hear on the MSNBC …

Biden: You don’t hear that on MSNBC …

Gorman: The hell I didn’t …

Biden: You did not hear that at all. What you heard … look, I’m not gonna get into an argument with you, man.

Gorman: Well, I don’t want to either …

Biden: Well, yeah you do, but look, fat, look. Here’s the deal, here’s the deal …

Gorman: It looks like you don’t have any more backbone than Trump does, when you’re (audience groans) … you’re selling … (audience boos).

Biden, to the crowd: Any other questions?

Gorman: Yeah, all right. I’m not voting for you.

Biden: Well I knew you weren’t, man. You think I thought you’d stand up and vote for me? You’re too old to vote for me.

Biden then turned around and asked the crowd for a question from one of the kids in attendance, “from a grade school.”

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