At a New Hampshire town hall, Mercer student Madison Moore asked presidential candidate Joe Biden about his performance in the Iowa caucus.
“You’re arguably the candidate with the greatest advantage in this race. You’ve been the vice president; you weren’t burdened down by the impeachment trials. So, how do you explain the performance in Iowa, and why should voters believe that you can win the national election?” Moore asked.
Biden answered by asking if she had ever been to a caucus. Moore nodded yes, despite this being her first time at one. In response, he called her a “lying dog-faced pony soldier.”
“Instead of answering that question straightforward, his immediate response was to attempt to invalidate me by exposing my inexperience,” Moore told the Macon Telegraph. “Who cares who I am or my experience. Just answer the damn question.”
Biden claimed that the phrase was from a John Wayne film, but Moore told GPB News, “I was born in 1998, so that made absolutely no sense to me.”
After their confrontation went viral, Moore made an instagram with the handle “biden_slayer.” Her first post was a tattoo of a warning sign that reads “I took out Joe Biden.”
“She was a brave girl who asked a good question who didn’t deserve to be called a name,” Jay Black said. Black is the head of the journalism department at Mercer, and one of three professors who teach the hybrid communications, journalism and politics course that took students to New Hampshire.
Moore wasn’t the only Mercer student that Biden brought into the national spotlight. A video of Mercer students singing a parody of the Backstreet Boys for Joe Biden went viral.
Black said that the students had been waiting in line to wait for Biden to come by, because they wanted a picture with the vice president. Four years ago, Black had a student do a similar thing at another rally, so one of the girls in the group came up with it and started singing, “Joe Biden, yeah, Biden’s back alright!”
At the time, he joked it would go viral, but didn’t anticipate it would blow up the way it did. The video was posted on the Old Row Twitter with the caption “This. This is the most cringe video of the month,” where it has 1.9 million views.
“It’s a shame to turn spur-of-the-moment fun into something that it wasn’t,” Black said.
Freshman Lars Lonnroth, who was one of the students in the video, said he finds it a bit alarming.
“It was remarkable to see it go viral since literally none of us are Biden supporters,” he said. “It was absolutely terrifying knowing that we had no control over the trajectory of this video. I had to take a lot of time just to make sense of the internet insanity that was happening, but it taught me a lot about how you can’t stop something that’s going viral.”
Despite the video, Lonnroth said he valued his experiences at the New Hampshire primaries.
“I got to meet candidates, talk to voters and take part in the political process by volunteering on campaigns knocking on doors and calling voters,” Lonnroth said.“It reminded me that it is important to make informed electoral decisions, since the consequences of my ballot can be truly profound.”