March 27th, 2010
12:30 PM ET
13 years ago

Teenager takes Biden to task over cuss word

(CNN) - A 17-year-old student from South Pasadena High School in California took Vice President Joe Biden to task Friday for his use of an un-choice word this week whispered into the ear of President Barack Obama.

"This is a huge deal," McKay Hatch told reporters. "Many kids and adults all over the world look up to Vice President Biden as a role model. He needs to be a good role model for kids and use clean and appropriate language."

Hatch was referring to Biden's "This is a big f............ deal" sotto-voce remark Tuesday to his boss during the signing of the health care bill that was picked up by microphones and amplified around the world.

Hatch called on Biden to apologize, then packed a "No Cussing Club" T-shirt, wrist bands and penalty jar into a box and carried it to the local post office, cameras documenting his every move and utterance. His goal: "to remind him to use good language."

Hatch said he was not opposed to Biden exercising his First Amendment rights. "He has the freedom of speech to say what he wants, but he can't choose the consequences of what he says," the student said. "We need as a country to get back to the basic values and come together and treat people with civility."

Hatch acknowledged that even he is not perfect. "I'm just trying to ask him, you know, think about what you're saying next time. This is about self-control. He's doing a good job; I'm just asking him, you know, try a
little harder."

Hatch's Web site,, claims more than 35,000 members and lists his more than 100 appearances on local and national television programs.

It also sells his book "The No-Cussing Club" ($19.95 + $5.50 postage and handling) and his DVD "The Story of the No-Cussing Club ($29.95 +$6 postage and handling) for sale.

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soundoff (312 Responses)
  1. Mike, formerly from Syracuse

    This 17 year old kid has more sense than the entire Obama Administration.

    March 27, 2010 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  2. Susan

    Where was out rage when Vice President Cheney said the "F" word right on the Congress floor.......get over's not a great word to use, we have all heard it and the majority of teenagers use it as part of their daily vocabulary..........more important things to put our attention to ........

    March 27, 2010 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  3. j

    He's right. Adults should use appropriate, clean, language, especially around children and young adults. I've never heard my mother utter a cuss word and I think that is one of the things that makes her a good role model. I, on the other hand, tend to swear when I get mad though I do try to emulate my Mom, I don't always succeed.

    March 27, 2010 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  4. eimerd

    Just study and hope you will ever get as far as mr Biden.
    Also walk around our all-white neighborhood and ask people
    what they think about Obama or Biden, you might want to bring
    some earplugs. Do you have any real friends? They never cuss?

    March 27, 2010 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  5. Ben

    What a joke...this kid should be more concerned about what happened here, not what was said. Maybe he should realize that all that matters in words is the meanings we assign them, and not that they somehow hold an inherent meaning....Joe Biden could have just as easily said "This is a big gleepglorp deal," and while in the literal sense the word was different, the emotion and intention were the same. That's why I never understand "edited" CDs...just because your kid doesn't hear the S-word or the F-bomb in a rap song, does it make the surrounding words any less hostile, demeaning, or innocuous? This sounds like a gimmick and a distraction and obscures the importance of what aws actually accomplished.

    March 27, 2010 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  6. J.C. - Independent 4 Public Option

    VP Biden is a great complement for President Obama.

    March 27, 2010 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  7. Alex

    BIG DEAL, so he said the F-word. I'm sure 99% of 17 year olds DON'T look up to Joe as a role model. Besides, the word is tossed around so much in our culture, you know, its not even really worth arguing about. I'm a little upset that CNN would feature a story about this kid, isn't there REAL news to be reported?

    March 27, 2010 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  8. Soldier

    America loves Joe Biden. Where was this kid or his obviously partisan riddled parents (who gave him the idea) when Dick was VP and threw the F-bomb? I mean, my God, the former vice president's name is actually DICK.

    March 27, 2010 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  9. Gram48

    What a breath of fresh air to hear a young person that believes in talking without cursing! Standing "O" to McKay. It is such a disgrace to hear our leaders speak this way and they are supposed to be looked up to as examples? They need to clean up their act and remember the examples they are supposed to set. Good for you
    McKay, you are the example to follow.

    March 27, 2010 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  10. chris

    oh man kids. grow up.

    March 27, 2010 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  11. shelly

    out of all the hateful things that was done and said he picks that one person and one word that was whispered into the Presidents ear and ampified by the media to complain about. WTG kid!

    March 27, 2010 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  12. jules sand-perkins

    The polite thing to do is to ignore both the Vice President's language and this teenager's business venture.

    March 27, 2010 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  13. Daniel Mollino

    You know all this concern over language and what Biden Said, Really it was not like he said it in the mic in an intentional statement to the public, This is like the Shaun White and his Coach crap from the Olympics. Simply America you need to grow the (Expletive) UP. This bickering and forcing your values on others intended private conversations or even holding on to a word being "bad" is getting rediculous. These days you can't even leave your house without offending people anymore because instead of just living were hung up on everyone else and how they didn't follow our values, Well maybe just maybe if you want others to follow the same exact values as you you should consider moving to China or hell Hitler style germany. Since apparently you don't understand the idea of freedom and living as YOU wish not as others want you to live.

    Now as for this kid Dude instead of trying to get your 15min why don't you apply your energy to something worth wile in life that isn't imposing on others what you think is correct.

    March 27, 2010 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  14. Dan

    With all of the serious problems we're facing in our country, why are people wasting their time with this? "Someone cursed, stop the presses!" Get over yourself.

    March 27, 2010 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  15. Raymond from CA

    Someone looking for fame. It's great to stand up what you believe in but, you should straight up know everyone will cuss. I bet he does it to.

    March 27, 2010 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  16. Lenny Jones

    Hope this get VP Joe Biden to act like he is the VP of the USA and show more respect for the President...Todays world allows this type of language in nearly all settings...but my gosh...Mr. are the VP next in line and in public..your language..WOW!!!

    March 27, 2010 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  17. ddt

    This is just another way for this kid to make a few bucks for booze. Don't you have some homework to do??

    March 27, 2010 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  18. Jamie

    Good for him! I can't believe a politician at his level would use that kind of language, cameras or not. At some point in your profession you move above that teenage mela-drama sailor talk. Sounds a bit trashy to me.

    March 27, 2010 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  19. Golem

    The country, or maybe just this kid, needs to grow up. Biden's use of "big F--g deal." is no "big F--g deal." It just shows that he's got the depth and experience to think and talk like most of the rest of us. I find that refreshing.

    March 27, 2010 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  20. Doug

    The funny thing is that even John Edwards is a better role model than Biden and Obama. He has done less harm to innocent people.

    March 27, 2010 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  21. Jeff

    Oh man if I was in school with this kid I would totally rip on him.

    March 27, 2010 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  22. cd

    Seriously? Get over it.

    March 27, 2010 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  23. Mo

    Wow! Are you serious. Is this suppose to be news or a tabloid page. Of course he is known as one of the faces of the US, but he's also an adult.

    March 27, 2010 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  24. Anonymous

    I hope he sent one to our last vice president, who is the first person in history to say the F-world on the floor of the senate.

    Why? Because he was asked about his relationship between Haliburton and several large no bid government contracts by a senator. His response? "F–K off".

    March 27, 2010 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  25. John

    I am a Democrat.

    But I Condemn Biden for this Stupidity.

    Being a Democrat does not mean that I should support even the wrongdoings of my own party.

    ReThuglicans Crooks will support their party even for Crime.

    March 27, 2010 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
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