May 19th, 2010
09:35 AM ET
5 years ago

Biden apologizes to teen for F-word

Biden famously cursed during the bill signing of health care reform.
Biden famously cursed during the bill signing of health care reform.

(CNN) – It was the F-word heard around the world and now Vice President Biden has expressed regret to a Kentucky teenager for using the crude language during the signing ceremony of the health care reform legislation in March.

"I should have expressed my excitement in a more appropriate manner," Biden wrote in a two-paragraph letter to high school student Brandon Halcomb. The letter comes after the 16-year old penned an open letter to the vice president criticizing his choice of language, according to Kentucky's WYMT News.

But Holcomb, who says he's not sure if he is a Republican or a Democrat, isn't completely satisfied with the response.

"It was not really an apology, but that's as close to an apology as I will be receiving," he said.

The Kentucky teenager also said he will continue to make sure politicians are responsible for their actions.

"They are role models," he said. "They need to watch what they say in front of people and realize they influence other people's lives."

A microphone picked up Biden uttering the F-word two months ago in the East Room of the White House as Obama signed the health care reform bill into law.

After delivering a rousing introduction of the president in which he praised Obama's "perseverance" and "clarity of purpose," Biden turned to embrace his boss and said with a big smile, "This is a big f– deal!"

Shortly after the ceremony, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs sent a message on his Twitter feed to try and diffuse the controversy.

"And yes Mr. Vice President, you're right..." Gibbs tweeted from his @PressSec Twitter account.


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soundoff (110 Responses)
  1. Nicholas

    It was poor taste for the Vice-President to utilize such colorful language, but must he apologize to this teen about it? This child is acting like his world was turned upside down because of an F-bomb. Lets be honest, he has probably heard worse language at his age. It's not like he was five and there in person. We as a society need to stop looking for role models in everyone that we see. It's not their responsibility to legislate morals and such; that should start in the home.

    This boy does not need to make a "big f– deal" about this.

    May 19, 2010 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  2. Matthew Vaughan

    To that kid: GET OVER IT.

    We have real problems to worry about. I'll take a "filthy mouthed" honest person who is commited to doing THE RIGHT THING over a "Clean-talking" bad-intentioned person ANY DAY.

    May 19, 2010 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  3. lol

    because we all know biden is the first person in the history of the world to drop the f bomb at an important event.

    and this kid really went out of his way and was really that upset to demand an apology for something is not important whatsoever. he must be a republican.

    or maybe mommy and daddy penned the letter for him.

    complete waste of time and energy. if it really bothers you that much, you need to get out more.

    May 19, 2010 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  4. Eric -Tulsa

    Seriously...Seriously. With everything happening in the world this is what is concerning this kid. Seriously.

    May 19, 2010 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  5. JBJ

    What a presumptious kid! Biden is the vice president and a grown man. He can speak however he wants. It's high time everyone realized that politicians are real people with real emotions and human vocabularies.

    May 19, 2010 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  6. DIANA

    He was just being the Joe Biden that we know and love. I've heard worse from other politicians and they haven't apologized. At least he apologized for his action. Don't change Joe.

    May 19, 2010 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  7. David

    Meanwhile where is our apology from Bush for taking us into Iraq, costing us well over $1 trillion and thousands of American lives plus the HUGE number of Iraqi lives (and not making us any safer as a result).

    Apparently this kid wants to run for office and is already politicking about stupid and irrelevant stuff. He'll fit right in.

    May 19, 2010 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  8. GARY BASS

    I wouldn't expect anything else from VP Biden. It's a crying shame the liberals in D.C. didn't verberalize the choice of words sooner. It took a student in KY. to do so.

    May 19, 2010 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  9. Linney

    Kid, life is full of disappointments. If the worse you see is the VP swearing on national television, you got lucky. Get over it.

    May 19, 2010 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  10. Mike

    Joe Biden is the closest thing to an honest politican this country has. My bet is that the only lie within this story is the apology itself. I don't think he is sorry for saying it-and he was right.

    May 19, 2010 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
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