Joe Biden mocked for 'no malarkey' campaign pledge

David Millward
Joe Biden mocked for 'no malarkey' campaign pledge - AP

Joe Biden was mocked this weekend after launching a campaign slogan - "no malarkey" - that did little to dispel fears the front-runner in the Democrat presidential nomination is behind the times. 

The phrase, emblazoned on the bus he is using to travel around the key state of Iowa, dates back to the 1920s.

Mr Biden, who would be the oldest first-term president to be sworn in at 78, said the term was intended to highlight his truthfulness when compared to Donald Trump.

"What we're referring here [is] my Irish ancestry, when my grandfather would really think something is full of you know what, he'd say, 'that's a lot of malarkey,'" he explained to supporters on Sunday.

"So we're on a No Malarkey tour, meaning we're telling the truth."

Mr Biden often harks back to his role as vice-president to Barack Obama and he notably used the phrase to dismiss Paul Ryan in a 2012 Vice Presidential debate, emphasising his reputation as straight-talking 'Uncle Joe'. 

Political analyst Nate Silver suggested that the slogan was Mr Biden being self-deprecating - which would appeal to his loyal supporters.

However, the campaign slogan has left some people baffled while others suggested it showed that Mr Biden was out of touch with younger voters.

One Twitter user wrote: "I’m voting for Biden so he can finally fix the four big problems facing society: jibber-jabber, hogwash, tommyrot, and flapdoodle."

A second suggested that the arcane language showed Mr Biden was "tired and old."

"It's sort of poking fun at himself," he said. 

Mr Biden's age has emerged as an issue on the campaign trail especially after some faltering performances in a series of televised debates.

He has also had to fend off questions about his son, Hunter, who took a seat on the board of the Ukrainian oil company Burisma, despite having no experience in the energy sector.

Despite leading in the national polls for the Democrat nomination, Mr Biden has fallen behind in the first two states to vote, Iowa and New Hampshire.

South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg has built up a seven-point lead in Iowa, where Mr Biden now languishes in fourth place. In New Hampshire, Mr Biden is also in fourth place where the race is being led by Vermont senator, Bernie Sanders, who is four points ahead of Mr Buttigieg.

A poor performance in both states could suck out any momentum that Mr Biden was hoping to generate in the early stages of the race, leaving him facing an uphill battle to win the nomination.

Mr Biden enlarged on his "no malarkey" theme when asked to explain how his experience made him more qualified for the Oval Office than younger rivals like Mr Buttigieg and New Jersey Senator, Cory Booker, a former mayor of Newark, New Jersey.

"I've dealt with every one of the major world leaders that are out there right now and they know me, I know them. And as time goes a pun here, no malarkey, I know them and they  know I know them."

Mr Biden gave a further demonstration of his occasionally eccentric campaigning style when he playfully bit his wife Jill's finger as she waved her arm in front of him during her introductory remarks.