Biden on enthusiasm for Warren in Iowa: 'Give me a break'

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Democrats seek leverage for trial Democrats spend big to put Senate in play MORE cast doubt on enthusiasm for one of his top presidential primary rivals, Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Warren, Buttigieg duke it out in sprint to 2020 The Memo: Pelosi-Trump trade deal provokes debate on left MORE (D-Mass.), on Monday as he traveled through Iowa. 

“You don’t see that with Warren. Stop kidding a kidder, OK?,” Biden responded when a reporter mentioned enthusiasm for Warren in Iowa, according to The Wall Street Journal

“C’mon, man. Give me a break,” Biden continued. 

ADVERTISEMENT

The former vice president also reportedly pointed to national polling and questioned why Warren was spending millions of dollars on ads in New Hampshire. 

A Warren campaign spokesperson told the Journal, however, that the senator isn’t airing ads in New Hampshire at this time and that she didn’t run any TV ads during her 2018 Senate reelection campaign. 

Warren’s large crowd sizes have gained attention, suggesting enthusiasm for the progressive senator. But, according to the newspaper, Biden asked the reporter “where this great enthusiasm is manifesting itself?”

The reporter reminded him that Warren staged a Chicago rally that drew more than 3,000 people.

“Chicago? Oh great, big showing in Chicago. By the way, that’s a wonderful thing,” Biden responded. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Warren’s campaign said 12,000 people attended a rally in St. Paul, Minn., in August, and the campaign estimated that 20,000 people attended a Warren rally in New York City in September. 

Warren has emerged as a top-tier candidate in the race, polling near the top of the field in national and many early state polls. A RealClearPolitics average of Iowa polls places Warren just ahead of Biden, at 17.7 percent compared to 16.3 percent support. Both candidates are trailing South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Warren, Buttigieg duke it out in sprint to 2020 Krystal Ball warns about lagging youth support for Buttigieg MORE, at 24 percent, and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Warren, Buttigieg duke it out in sprint to 2020 The Memo: Pelosi-Trump trade deal provokes debate on left MORE (I-Vt.), at 18.3 percent, based on the polling average. 

Nationally, Warren trails Biden by 13 points, at 14 percent compared to his 27 percent, based on a RealClearPolitics average of polls.  

Biden’s “No Malarkey” eight-day bus tour across Iowa kicked off Saturday and will continue through the week. He is set to visit 18 counties during the trip. 

Speaking to reporters Monday, Biden also accused Buttigieg of stealing his plans, claiming the mayor once backed a more progressive health care proposal before supporting a more moderate plan. An aide to Buttigieg noted in response that the mayor had been proposing a health care option since before Biden entered the race in April. 

The Iowa tour comes as candidates look to gain support in the state ahead of the Feb. 3 caucuses, when voters will be the first in the country to pick a Democratic presidential nominee.