Democratic presidential hopeful Joseph R. Biden told a CBS News reporter to “calm down” in an exchange Wednesday that has gone viral.
In a video tweeted by CBS News, Mr. Biden appeared visibly agitated after reporter Ed O’Keefe repeatedly asked him at a campaign event in Mason City, Iowa, about his latest spat with rival candidate Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont.
“Yesterday, you said you accepted Bernie’s apology, now you’re attacking him — why are you doing that?” Mr. O’Keefe asked Mr. Biden as the former vice president made his way through a group of reporters.
“Why wasn’t his apology enough, Mr. Vice President?” Mr. O’Keefe continued. “Why attack Sanders?”
That’s when a wide-eyed Mr. Biden turned to the reporter.
“Why, why, why, why, why, why, why,” he said while shaking his hands excitedly and placing them on the reporter’s chest. “You’re getting nervous, man! Calm down.”
A more composed Mr. Biden continued, “He apologized for saying that I was corrupt. He didn’t mention anything about whether or not I was telling the truth about Social Security.”
Mr. O’Keefe smiled nervously as Mr. Biden took his left fist and gently bumped the reporter’s chest before walking away.
WATCH: After a campaign event in Mason City, Iowa, @joebiden reacts to @edokeefe’s question about his ongoing feud with @berniesanders: “Calm down, it’s okay.”
— CBS News (@CBSNews) January 22, 2020
Mr. O’Keefe was referring to Mr. Sanders’ apology for one of his supporters calling Mr. Biden corrupt in a recent op-ed. Mr. Biden said that he accepted the apology before proceeding to blast the senator for comments criticizing his past views on Social Security.
The CBS video of Wednesday’s exchange with Mr. O’Keefe has racked up more than 1.2 million views and counting. Mr. O’Keefe later addressed the incident on “CBS This Morning.”
“We ask the candidates questions. How they respond is up to them,” Mr. O’Keefe said. “And clearly, in this case, Biden [is] a little touchy because he’s sensitive to this charge that he wants to change up Social Security.”
Senator Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden continue to trade fire over Social Security.@edokeefe caught up with the former VP in Iowa:
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) January 23, 2020
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