DETROIT — Former Vice President Joe Biden told a factory worker he was “full of s---” at a campaign event here after the man claimed the Democratic presidential candidate was going to take away his guns.
The heated altercation happened during a meet-and-greet with workers at a Fiat Chrysler assembly plant ahead of Michigan's crucial primary. While supporters were waiting in line, Biden was immediately confronted by a worker who claimed he would try to do away with his Second Amendment right after seeing videos of him and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas, talking gun control.
“You’re full of s---,” Biden said. “I did not.”
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O’Rourke, who endorsed Biden last week, dropped out of the 2020 Democratic field in November. The former Texas lawmaker made gun control central to his candidacy, supporting not just background checks and an assault weapons ban but also a mandatory gun buyback program.
"Hell yes, we're going to take your AR-15, your AK-47," he said during September's Democratic debate. "We're not going to allow it to be used against our fellow Americans anymore."
Biden told the worker he would ban assault weapons, not confiscate all guns. Biden told the unidentified man that he owns guns because he himself would go hunting with his sons.
The man continued to press Biden on guns, almost physically pushing up against him.
“You’re working for me, man,” the worker told him.
“I'm not working for you, gimme a break, man. Don't be such a horse's a--,” Biden responded.
Biden’s aides attempted to get him to walk away and his private security broke through the crowd to get closer to him as a precaution.
After Biden did move on, the man's co-workers chided him for pressing Biden even after he had answered his questions.
The brief altercation was the latest example of Biden confronting voters who hurl unfounded allegations at him. In December, Biden called an Iowa voter a "damn liar" and challenged him to a pushup contest after the man questioned his age, as well as his son's business dealings in Ukraine.
At a pre-planned event in Ohio on Tuesday to reiterate his commitment to passing gun control legislation, Biden reacted to the confrontation in Detroit.
"I'm not opposed to the Second Amendment," Biden said. "The Second Amendment isn't absolute, though. Like any other amendment, it's not absolute."
"From the very beginning, the Second Amendment did not say anybody could own any kind of weapons," he added.
As Senate Judiciary chairman, Biden successfully got an assault weapons ban passed in 1994. He frequently tells audiences at his rallies that banning assault weapons would not violate the Constitution.
"It's not violating anybody's Second Amendment rights," Biden said at a rally in February. "As you've heard me say before, if you're hunting geese, you can only have three shells in your shotgun. We protect geese better. Not me. ... I will never, never, never give up this fight."
Biden recently gained endorsements from gun control advocacy groups Brady, Everytown for Gun Safety, and the Newtown Action Alliance.