January 28th, 2009
10:40 AM ET
3 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. Marcia, Marcia, Marcia

    I thought it was funny.

    Of all the serious things going on with this country, a little humor is okay!

    January 27, 2009 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  2. Humored In Texas

    Bush should apologize for appointing Roberts!

    January 27, 2009 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  3. John

    There's nothing to apologize about here.

    January 27, 2009 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  4. Maggie SC

    Is VP Biden deliberately putting Pre Obama in a bad light?

    January 27, 2009 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  5. bj

    Let's face it, Biden is and moron. For you dumbocrats, that's just a notch below an idiot.

    January 27, 2009 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  6. eddie

    Please Biden, stop apologizing.....Cheney used the F-word and said he felt good about it. His remark was funny in the circumstance and needs no apology.

    January 27, 2009 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  7. Tom

    I am offended that Biden had to apologize for trying to make people smile. It wasn't offensive. Maybe Justice Roberts should have his pay docked for messing up the easiest part of his job if a joke couldn't be had. Biden, I'll be waiting for your phone call so we can have a "good conversation".

    January 27, 2009 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  8. Erinn

    I didn't vote for you Joe, but I'm beginning to like you more and more...great sense of humor!

    January 27, 2009 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  9. Marty

    Did you see Barack Obama's face when Biden let it slip out? He was stone-faced with no expression. I'm pro Obama/Biden, and voted for them. However, I think there is a time and a place for everything. That was NOT the time nor place.

    January 27, 2009 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  10. Mike L

    I don't get it... who did that joke offend? Roberts, who did indeed get the oath wrong? Is Biden not allowed to make light of that?

    January 27, 2009 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  11. SO

    VP Biden seems to always want to be the center of attention. Why doesn't he shut up and try not to be the center of attention? I voted for the President but was not happy with his choice as a running mate.

    January 27, 2009 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  12. Mike

    Thanks Ray, we were all concerned about which politicians comedic stylings your humor most closely resembles. Glad we were able to put this pressing issue to rest.

    January 27, 2009 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  13. Debby

    This is only the begining of blunders that Biden will say being VP. He might as well keep that foot in his mouth for 4 years. hahaha

    January 27, 2009 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  14. Judy

    Boy! this country is getting to where you afraid todo or say anything Oh I should say except something so dirty that seweage systems wo
    uld be shocked!! Freedom of speech !!ONLY IF IT IS FIFTLY?? Mr.Biden brush the media off and be yourself!!
    When we ALL TURN BACK TO A GODLY COUNTRY THINGS WILL GET BETTER!! BUT WOE UNTO US ALL UNTIL OUR GOVERMENT AND CITIZENS WAKE UP!!

    judy

    January 27, 2009 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  15. Erinn

    I didn't vote for you Joe, but I'm beginning to like you...great sense of humor!

    January 27, 2009 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  16. Benton Indianapolis, In

    At least this vice president knows how to admit when he makes a mistake.

    January 27, 2009 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  17. robyn w/an awesome Y

    Ah Ray; you, me and Biden have the same sense of humor . Too bad everyone else can't lighten up. I thought it was hilarious but when I am not at my paying job I relish in being immature.

    January 27, 2009 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  18. Zach

    It didn't feel it was insulting whatsoever, but I see some have to be politically correct to the nth degree.

    January 27, 2009 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  19. Will

    I think it is Chief Justice Roberts who needs to apologize to the nation for flubbing the oath of office during President Obama's inauguration ceremony; I know that he has already apologized to the President, but he owes everyone else an apology as well as it was certainly disappointing that he decided to mangle such an important and historic moment.

    January 27, 2009 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  20. janet, ohio

    Excuse me, "tony", but exactly who whined about it? Nobody but the Obama administration. Chief Justice Roberts has way more important things to worry about than little joe biden.

    January 27, 2009 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  21. Linda

    Just don't get it. It really wasn't all that funny, BUT it was not insulting. The news has been more insulting than Joe. Go figure.

    January 27, 2009 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  22. No Incumbents 2010

    I do not like Joe Biden, but people need to lighten up. Everything does not have to be "Politically Correct". Folks need to quit whining and grow up. Someone might hurt your feelings- get over it!

    January 27, 2009 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  23. George B.

    I thought this would be something really terrible, this is nothing. It was not mean-spirited, come on folks, get a life.

    January 27, 2009 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  24. Rob

    TIME FOR AMERICA TO GET A GRIP AND LAUGH A LITTLE. TELL THE MINORITY COMPLAINS TO GO POUND SAND.....

    January 27, 2009 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  25. cindi

    The man is the Chief Justice of the United States, this is his big moment, and he could not remember the presidential oath of office? I'd say the VP let him off easy

    January 27, 2009 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
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