Friday, April 17, 2009
Vice President Joe Biden has been keeping a low profile these days. But last week he popped into headlines when he clashed with aides to former President George W. Bush after claiming to have rebuked Bush in private meetings. Recalling a conversation during an interview with CNN, Biden said he told Bush in the Oval Office: "'Mr. President, turn and around look behind you. No one is following.'"
Karl Rove, Bush's top political adviser in the White House, called the conversational "fictional."
This isn't the first time Biden's comments have made news. From historical blunders and Internet gaffes to offensive jokes, Vice President Joe Biden is never shy a quotable moment.
Here's a list of 14 amusing yet cringe-worthy "Bidenisms" made during the vice president's more recent political career.
-- On March 13, 2009, Biden addressed a former Senate colleague by saying, "An hour late, oh give me a f**king break," after he arrived on Amtrak at Union Station in Washington, D.C. The vice president's expletive was caught on a live microphone.
-- During a Feb. 25, 2009, interview on CBS' "Early Show," Biden encouraged viewers to visit a government-run Web site that tracks stimulus spending. When asked for the site's web address, Biden could not remember the site's "number."
"You know, I'm embarrassed. Do you know the Web site number?" he asked an aide standing out of view. "I should have it in front of me and I don't. I'm actually embarrassed."
-- At a Jan. 30, 2009, swearing-in ceremony of senior White House staff, Biden mocked Chief Justice John Roberts for his presidential oath blunder on Inauguration Day.
"Am I doing this again?" Biden said, after Obama asked him to administer the oath. When Biden was told the swearing-in was for senior staff -- and not cabinet members -- the vice president quipped, "My memory is not as good as Justice Roberts," prompting a stern nudge from Obama.
-- On Inauguration Day, Jan. 20 2009, Biden misspoke when he told a cheering crowd of supporters, "Jill and I had the great honor of standing on that stage, looking across at one of the great justices, Justice Stewart." Justice John Paul Stevens -- not Stewart -- swore Biden in as vice president.
-- When criticizing former GOP nominee John McCain in Athens, Ohio, on Oct. 15, 2008, Biden said, "Look, John's last-minute economic plan does nothing to tackle the number-one job facing the middle class, and it happens to be, as Barack says, a three-letter word: jobs. J-O-B-S, jobs."
-- In a Sept. 22, 2008, CBS interview, Biden misspoke when he said Franklin D. Roosevelt was president when the stock market crashed in 1929.
"When the stock market crashed, Franklin D. Roosevelt got on the television and didn't just talk about the, you know, the princes of greed. He said, 'Look, here's what happened," he said. Herbert Hoover -- not Roosevelt -- was president in 1929, and television had not yet been invented in 1929.
-- During a Sept. 12, 2008, speech in Columbia, Mo., Biden called for Missouri State Sen. Chuck Graham, who is wheelchair-bound, to "stand up."
"Oh, God love ya," Biden said, after realizing his mistake. "What am I talking about?"
-- At a Sept. 10, 2008, town hall meeting in Nashua, N.H., Biden said, "Hillary Clinton is as qualified or more qualified than I am to be vice president of the United States of America. Quite frankly, it might have been a better pick than me."
-- Biden mistakenly referred to Alaska governor Sarah Palin as the "lieutenant governor" of her state during a town hall meeting on Sept. 4, 2008 at George Mason University in Manassas, Va.
"I heard a very, by the way I mean this sincerely, a very strong and a very good political speech from a lieutenant governor of Alaska who I think is going to be very formidable, very formidable not only in the campaign but in the debate," Biden said.
-- Biden said he was running for president -- not vice president -- during a Sept. 1, 2008, roundtable discussion in Scranton, Pa.
"Today is the moment for me as a United States senator running for president to put aside the national politics and focus on what's happening down there," Biden said.
-- Biden referred to John McCain as "George" during his vice presidential acceptance speech on Aug. 27, 2008, at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Co. "Freudian slip, folks, Freudian slip," he explained.
-- Biden confused army brigades with battalions when speaking about Obama's plan for sending troops to Afghanistan.
"Or should we trust Barack Obama, who more than a year ago called for sending two additional combat brigades to Afghanistan?"
-- During his first campaign rally with Obama as his vice presidential running mate on Aug. 23, 2008, Biden introduced Obama by saying, "A man I'm proud to call my friend. A man who will be the next President of the United States -- Barack America!"
-- On Jan. 31, 2007 -- the day Biden announced his presidential bid -- the Delaware Senator was roundly criticized for calling Obama "the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that's a storybook, man."