Joe Biden was speaking at the SkyBridge Alternatives (SALT) Conference when one rich “a**hole” decided to disrespect the former vice president’s dead son. Biden was furious and he put the heckler in his place effortlessly.
Bill Ackman, manager of a failing hedge fund, was speaking at the wall street event as well. Fox Business reports that during the private VIP dinner, former Florida governor and 2016 GOP presidential contender Jeb Bush, asked Biden “why didn’t you run?”
Biden explained that part of the decision stemmed from the death of his son Beau Biden, who died of brain cancer in 2015. The room grew quiet as Biden became emotional, and said: “I’m sorry…I’ve said enough.”
That’s when Ackman blurted out “Why? That’s never stopped you before.”
The formal, and understated dinner conversation suddenly turned tense, according to three people who were present and confirmed both the substance and the wording of Biden’s responses.
Biden, these people say, turned to someone seated near him, and asked, “who is this asshole?,” a reference to Ackman.
Then he turned directly to Ackman and stated: “look, I don’t know who you are, wiseass, but never disrespect the memory of my dead son!” these people say.
Ackman attempted what was described as an apology, to which Biden said, “just shut the hell up.”
A spokesman for Ackman insisted that “the idea that there was an argument or altercation between Joe Biden and Bill Ackman” is just utter nonsense. He even added that “Bill had a great time at the dinner and enjoyed spending time with the former vice president.” But three different sources who witnessed the exchange say otherwise.
“Biden was in rare form,” said one person with direct knowledge of the heated conversation. “I can’t believe it has never leaked out.”
There are some lines you just don’t cross and this is one of them. Why Ackman thought he could get away with making this kind of remark is anybody’s guess. But Biden was NOT having it and in the process, he proved that he has plenty of spunk left for a 2020 presidential run.
“I never thought she was a great candidate. I thought I was a great candidate,” Biden said at the dinner, which raises speculation that he may decide to run for president in the next election. While Biden, who is 74, would be the oldest candidate to ever run for the White House, he certainly seems up to the task.
Featured image via Alex Wong/Getty Images