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

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook MORE cast doubt on enthusiasm for one of his top presidential primary rivals, Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Joint Chiefs chairman says he regrets participating in Trump photo-op | GOP senators back Joint Chiefs chairman who voiced regret over Trump photo-op | Senate panel approves 0B defense policy bill Trump on collision course with Congress over bases with Confederate names 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. 

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

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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. 

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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 ButtigiegPete ButtigiegScaled-back Pride Month poses challenges for fundraising, outreach Biden hopes to pick VP by Aug. 1 It’s as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process MORE, at 24 percent, and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness 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.

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