January 28th, 2009
10:40 AM ET
10 months ago

Biden apologizes to Roberts for oath of office joke

Biden couldn't pass up poking fun at Chief Justice Roberts last week.
Biden couldn't pass up poking fun at Chief Justice Roberts last week.

(CNN) — An aide to Vice President Joe Biden tells CNN he called Chief Justice John Roberts last week to apologize for a light-hearted remark he made over the flubbed Inauguration Day oath of office.

"My memory is not as good as Justice Roberts, Chief Justice Roberts," Biden said last Wednesday, as he asked for a copy of the oath he was using to swear in senior members of the White House staff.

Several staffers reacted to the comment with groans and laughter, though President Obama, standing next to Biden, did not crack a smile.

An aide to the vice president said Tuesday the two men spoke privately after that comment. “They spoke and had a good conversation,” said the aide, who declined to give further details.

Roberts' mistake came about half way through the 35-word oath, when, reciting from memory, he said the word 'faithfully,' out of order. The flub confused Obama who ultimately repeated the mistake.

Meanwhile, Biden has been selected to handle the administration’s first foreign trip. The White House said Tuesday the vice president will travel to Germany next week with retired Gen. James Jones, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs.

Biden will represent the United States at the Wehrkunde, the annual security policy conference held in Munich.

–CNN's Ed Henry contributed to this report


Filed under: Joe Biden
soundoff (609 Responses)
  1. Rob

    Biden is nothing more than a loud mouthed ignorant idiot.
    Obama choose him and that is where he lost my support, however I must tel everyone, I watched Biden open his mouth and thought Obamas reaction was great. Very professional and is probably wondering the same as I am, why did he choose Biden?

    January 27, 2009 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  2. Trang, Fremont, CA

    Despite the many gaffes that Joe Biden made on Capitol Hill, many people do like him. He's harmless. He's friendly. He meant well. I am happy w/ my VP. Heck, he makes jokes to even out Obama's seriousness.

    January 27, 2009 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  3. Laughing

    Next thing you know he will be spelling potato with an "e" or saying he invented the Internet.

    January 28, 2009 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  4. steve

    believe it or not, i like a politician who can joke around, and tell the truth for once. Its like the polar opposite of our previous VP....darth vader.

    January 28, 2009 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  5. Leslie

    He told the truth what is the problem? Roberts made a fool of himself just like the man who hired him....Bush.

    January 28, 2009 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  6. Steve

    I love all these folks saying that Biden is a "joke".

    Apparently, they preferred the war criminal.

    January 28, 2009 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  7. TERRY BROWN

    PRESSURE WILL CAUSE SLIPS AT TIMES BECAUSE OF CONCENTRATION COUPL;ED WITH KNOWLEDGE AND FLUENCY AND DELIVERY,ON XLIBRIS.COM I HAVE WRITTEN A BOOK FOR THE WORLD TO READ CALLED ( IN 2008 I'M VOTING FOR THE TOTAL PACKAGE)

    January 28, 2009 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  8. Janet Dagan

    hey, where's your humor?? loosen up everybody!! joe biden has his heart and smarts in the right place...everyone else: take a deeeeeeeeeeep breath...

    January 28, 2009 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  9. John

    I think some critics of Biden need to get a life along with a Clue!!!!

    Funny when the last VP Told someone from the other party to F-OFF
    I didn't hear these same people that got a phony outrage about Biden
    demand a apology from Cheney. I like Biden because Obama needs
    a tough talking,take no bleep from Neo cons type in his team...

    Rock on Joe!!!!

    January 28, 2009 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  10. Anonymous

    Biden is an idiot

    January 28, 2009 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  11. Ryan

    Oh come on. He made a little joke. I'm sure none of you ever made a joke about something this small and trivial. Grow up. I am glad our new VP has some sort of sense of humor. The only reason we are hearing this is because of a few upset Republican supporters that want to make light of something, and this is all they could come up with. We wouldn't even be hearing it if it was Cheney that made the remarks. You are just a bunch of people who have yet to outgrow your diapers. GROW UP!

    January 28, 2009 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  12. Russ

    Biden, showing that he has always and continues to be a complete moron and can't stop runnning his mouth.

    January 28, 2009 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  13. Danny

    JUDICIARY is not always perfect. Chief Justice flunks at the time of Presidential oath. However, we need to Amend US Constitution, because Criticizing Judiciary is Contempt of Court, which gives Judiciary Immunity and Protection from any Good Faith and Fair Criticism, which is Absolute Anarchy. Let Judiciary by open to Criticism and Let Judges be open to Transparency. IN SUM – JUDICIARY IS MORE CORRUPT THAN EXECUTIVE AND LEGISLATURE.

    January 28, 2009 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  14. Chris

    I just wanted to point out that Obama made the first mistake in the oath. He started talking in the very first part before Roberts finished what he was supposed to say. If you doubt this, watch how it was administered to Biden then Obama. Obama didn't let Roberts finish the first line. I think that after that point any mistake Roberts makes is understandable, if not forgivable.

    January 28, 2009 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  15. Antranik

    which two men?

    January 28, 2009 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  16. Jose

    It was a funny joke. Who cares. Better than having a secretive and scary VP like Cheney. I think Obama and Biden compliment each other well. It's good to have a sense of humor people. So quit being such whiny and bitter babies. Sheez!

    January 28, 2009 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  17. Sydney Saidyan

    If there is anything Vice President Biden can learn from his predecessor, Vice President Cheney, is to be more cautious when choosing his words.

    If VP Cheney had the same habit as VP Biden, who seems unable to filter his thoughts before they are verbalized as spoken words, we might have known some of the "secrets” of the previous administration.

    Mr. Vice President, as the saying goes: Watch your thoughts; they become your words. Watch your words; they become your actions. Watch your actions; they become your habits. Watch your habits; they become your character.

    Proud Independent Voter, who proudly donated to, campaigned for, and voted for President Obama and Vice President Biden

    January 28, 2009 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  18. Mernoush

    It was just a joke , Biden didin't need to apologize for that. I recommend everybody who thinks Biden is a joke to watch Bush's press conferences once again , it helps them to figure out who is really a joke.

    January 28, 2009 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  19. Michelle

    My god, lighten up! It's just words. This isn't even a news story.

    January 28, 2009 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  20. JAE

    Biden is a joke. Seems the norm, he and his wife open mouth and insert foot.

    January 28, 2009 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  21. Sam Adams

    There are rumors that the "Bible" was not real that Obama was sworn in on. What a Joke. Couldn't even remember the oath of office. How is our #1 boy going to uphold it?

    January 28, 2009 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  22. AP from Illinois

    The same people who gave us 'Barack the Magic Negro' can't take a joke that is far less offensive... At least Biden apologized. Any of you Republicans want to step up to the plate to apologize for Rush?

    January 28, 2009 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  23. recnepS

    This isn't news. You should be reporting on what is the VP's role in the administration.

    January 28, 2009 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  24. bill

    After 9/11, this country lost its sense of humor.

    January 28, 2009 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  25. JANICE

    HEY CHRIS, THE PRESDENT OBAMO,KNEW JUSTIC ROBERTS , HAD GOOF UP, BUT HE JUST WENT WITH THE FLOW. I WAS PROUD OBAMO , THE WAY HE HANDLE IT!!!!!!!!

    January 28, 2009 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
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