Former Vice President Joe Biden got into a heated exchange with a worker over gun rights during a tour of a Detroit auto plant on Tuesday.
The worker, among a group surrounding Biden in their hardhats at the Fiat Chrysler plant, accused Biden of “actively trying to end our Second Amendment right” and “take away our guns” in the exchange, which was caught on video.
“You’re full of —-,” Biden responded. “I support the Second Amendment.” He then appeared to tell an aide who was trying to end the conversation to “shush.”
Biden went on to explain that he believes there are limits to the Second Amendment. He compared it to the limits on the First Amendment right to free speech, such as the famous example of not being able to yell “fire!” in a crowded theater.
The former vice president told the man he owned shotguns and that his sons were hunters.
“I’m not taking your gun away at all,” Biden said.
The man repeated his accusation that Biden had pledged to take away peoples’ guns.
“I did not say that,” Biden said, his voice rising.
The man replied that there was a “viral video” of him saying he would.
“It’s a viral video like the other ones they’ve been putting out that are simply a lie,” said Biden, whose campaign has accused President Donald Trump’s team of sharing deceptively edited videos.
A video of Biden meeting with former Rep. Beto O’Rourke after the Texas Democrat endorsed him has been shared as evidence that Biden plans to confiscate guns.
In the video, Biden expresses admiration for O’Rourke’s positions on assault weapons and climate change and warns O’Rourke’s wife, Amy, that if he wins the election he is “coming for him” to work in the Biden administration. Some conservative sites have shared the video with the implication that Biden was saying, “I’m coming for them,” referring to guns.
After denying the claim, an agitated Biden then waved his finger in the man’s face and mistakenly reffered to “AR-14s.”
The two men exchanged more words at that point, which were difficult to discern in the video. According to CBS News reporter Bo Erickson, the man told Biden, “This is not OK, alright?” and Biden replied, “Don’t tell me that, pal, or I’m going to go out and slap you in the face.”
“You’re working for me, man,” the worker then tells Biden, as the audio becomes clear again.
“I’m not working for you,” Biden said. “Give me a break, man. Don’t be such a horse’s —.”
“Here’s the deal. Are you able to own a machine gun?” Biden asks the worker.
“Machine guns are illegal,” the man replies. Biden argues AR-15s should be illegal for the same reason before the man is led away by other workers.
According to the platform laid on his website, Biden favors a ban on assault rifles and high-capacity magazines, as well as a buyback program for those weapons. He also endorses expanded background checks, “red flag laws” aimed at keeping guns away from people suffering from mental illness, limits on how many guns people can buy and expanding the list of prohibited buyers.
Six states are voting in the Democratic presidential race on Tuesday, and of those Michigan has the most pledged delegates up for grabs. Polls have suggested Biden is the strong favorite to carry Michigan, though Sen. Bernie Sanders defied the polls and defeated Hillary Clinton there in 2016.
Biden has had other clashes with voters on the campaign trail.
Last month, he called a New Hampshire voter a “lying dog-faced pony soldier” after she asked him a question about his fourth-place finish in the Iowa caucuses.
In December, he called a man at an event in Iowa a “damn liar” when the man accused Biden of selling access to Ukraine. And at a New Hampshire campaign event later that month he called a heckler “an idiot.”
Contributing: Saranac Hale Spencer, FactCheck.org; The Associated Press
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