January 28th, 2009
10:40 AM ET
11 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. Greg in Denver

    I just don't see what the fuss is about. At worst, someone could just not find it funny. But was it really that insulting? I don't get it.

    January 27, 2009 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  2. tony

    It was a joke, let it go, do we have to apologize when someone whines about everything, we would say we are sorry every second.

    January 27, 2009 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  3. Sadie

    We love Joe!! He is a good man - with a good heart who sometimes says the wrong thing. But he is still worth has weight in gold!

    January 27, 2009 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  4. Jon-Lars

    Now there is a headline we will be seeing often..,

    January 27, 2009 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  5. jumbo

    i am afraid this will be one of many apologies for vp biden

    January 27, 2009 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  6. Obama :-)

    Joe doesn't necessarily put his foot in his mouth, he makes light of things that are really not that important. The mistake was made and ultimately corrected. He was not intending on dissing Justice Roberts, but more like...lighten up everyone!

    January 27, 2009 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  7. Ray Fisher

    VP Biden and I have the same type of humor commonly exercised without good sense but never serious nor malicious. We simply never have matured...

    January 27, 2009 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  8. Matt

    Given Biden's earned reputation, I think this is of little consequence. I think the next 4 years will be much like a soap opera---lots of drama, and the foreboding sense of "Oh no! What disaster will strike next?!"

    January 27, 2009 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  9. Heh!

    Dad Obama talked to the kids and made them get along...

    January 27, 2009 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  10. KEVIN

    yeah ya know, joe biden seems like a really nasty jerk. we need less joe bidens, and barack obamas in this world.

    January 27, 2009 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  11. UnitedStates1776

    Joe,
    No need to apologize. Roberts earned that joke.

    January 27, 2009 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  12. KEVIN

    and please please people, don't listen to them about RUSH. we can listent to who ever we want. Rush is the man, and those who try and stop us from listening to him are guilty of censorship including the president. Rush speakers for how we feel america. Get used to it

    January 27, 2009 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  13. Umm...

    An apology, ya hear that Republicans.... now its your turn... come on, you can do it. Say " I'm sorry America for screwing you blind"

    come on... its easy!!!

    January 27, 2009 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  14. joe the leaf blower

    Joe Biden should change his name to Shmoe Biden. Get it? Shmoe?

    January 27, 2009 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  15. The Blessed One

    Vice-President Biden made a funny ! LOL!

    January 27, 2009 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  16. Linda Welch

    Joe Biden said what I was thinking on Ignaug day. I think Roberts wanted to use O's middle name so-bad (and he did) that he forgot the oath in the process while trying to be "proper," using the President's full name. Roberts stinks. I am afraid of him and his types.

    January 27, 2009 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  17. mariebuch

    Leave Joe alone. My President is a bit humorless, leave it up to Joe to bring a little laughter in the administration.

    The man has been in DC for 30+ years, and still sane. Now we know why!

    January 27, 2009 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  18. Travis King

    VP Biden needs to remember that he's the second most powerful man in the world now, not a senator anymore.

    January 27, 2009 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  19. Sarah

    The rules for the Obama administration are simple:

    1. Keep Mr. Biden locked away in a dark hole,
    2. Let him into the presence of reporters whenever you get negative attention,
    3. Bask in the glory of misdirected reporters, and
    4. Return to #1.

    If President Bush had a Mr. Biden at his disposal, I'm confident we never would have really noticed the war in Iraq.

    January 27, 2009 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  20. Derek

    "We simply have never matured..."

    That's encouraging...

    January 27, 2009 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  21. KEVIN

    i truly feel that since this in fact will be a common threat with the VP that he should resign or be impeached right now, as soon as possible. Don't let him get comfortable in his position you know. were ready for change america, but not this kinda change

    January 27, 2009 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  22. Kaitlin

    VP Biden is a good man.

    January 27, 2009 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  23. Esther M. cuyahoga falls ohio

    i am sure the chief justices is a big boy and can handle a joke now and then

    January 27, 2009 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  24. physics

    I am afraid our new VP has never recovered from "foot in mouth" disease.

    January 27, 2009 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  25. Stephy

    I have one question: why?

    January 27, 2009 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
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