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.

Filed under: Joe Biden • Popular Posts
soundoff (312 Responses)
  1. Craig from LA

    What is said in private between people is no one's business. It was inappropriate for the reporter to intrude into a private conversation, so I think the kid is out of line here. There is a distinction between private and public speech.

    Having said that, I do support the kid's effort for public speech, speech clearly intended to be heard by others. Here I believe we see with the Tea Party movement a real need to reflect upon their vile and racist language and posters. Their lack of civility and respect define them well and I would recommend the kid direct his efforts at these folks.

    March 27, 2010 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  2. Pete

    Please excuse my mispelling ,no spell check on comment Go mkay Go

    March 27, 2010 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  3. carlos

    it was not directed at anyone in particular,just a comment between TWO SMART MEN, besides the toothless inbreds use cussing all the time including to their little fella, WISE UP......I aplaud the VP, it shows honesty and not the disgrace that b...c from alaska spews, ms.obscurity

    March 27, 2010 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  4. Brad

    Kid needs to grow up and let people live their own lives.

    March 27, 2010 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  5. David

    He was just trying to point out that it was quite different from FDR's New Deal

    March 27, 2010 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  6. shalomcharlotte

    Hey kid, get lucky much in the "no cussing club" ?

    March 27, 2010 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  7. Denna

    McKay Hatch, good for you. I fully support Joe Biden, but he really does need to not talk like a common street person. If you are truly one of the teens in this country who does not use foul language, good for you also. I would love to see the young people in this country step up and revive classy behavior in America. Conservatives: dump Sarah Palin and the baser Tea Partiers. They are truly making decent conservatives look crass.

    March 27, 2010 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  8. Frank Brown

    Like you have never cussed. Grow up, get a job and quit trying to make an easy buck.

    March 27, 2010 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  9. catmomtx

    With all due respect to this young man, get over it.

    March 27, 2010 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  10. Steve

    What a little nerd. That kid needs a little dose of the real world.

    March 27, 2010 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    remind me never to hang out with this kid

    March 27, 2010 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  12. Chris

    Yeah, as if all of us haven't heard the F word before?

    If you shelter someone so much that they don't hear cussing... then those kinds of people are going to be totally naive and unprepared when they get into the real world.

    March 27, 2010 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    is this a joke?

    March 27, 2010 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  14. Amazing!!!

    Attn: McKay Hatch

    Get a life.

    March 27, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  15. skip

    Congratulations, McKay Hatch. You are this week's winner of the Lighten Up Francis Award.

    March 27, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  16. Peter Nixon

    Kudos to the kid for trying, but come on, is this really news? The VP dropped an f-bomb...something tells me that after this 17-year-old kid gets out of high school and becomes a true adult, he'll probably find an occasion to bust out a word or two.
    Relax and let Joe be Joe. I kind of like it that the veep is his own guy.

    March 27, 2010 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  17. Nick

    What a little tool! Sounds like he is doing this for attention and to make a quick buck off of it. Shame on CNN for deeming this newsworthy.

    March 27, 2010 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  18. Nick

    No one has mention how the President also made light of what was said, even offering to have a t-shirt made of it. "Biden said President Obama told him his salty comment was the best part of the ebullient ceremony in the East Room of the White House, and had tried to get him a tee-shirt bearing his now famous remark."

    The issue for me is not that Joe said it, it is how they are handling it, laughing it off. It was wrong and they should owe up to it instead of laughing it off. So many other people have done or said things in such settings and immediately apologized after a public outcry. So for me, this signals what we are looking forward to in America: a decline of civility. When civility goes out the window, anarchy will soon follow.

    March 27, 2010 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  19. td

    Great. I hope he remembered to send the same to Senator Boehner....who used the h word repeatedly in the US Senate!

    March 27, 2010 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  20. Louis

    Grow up! It's just a word.

    March 27, 2010 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  21. Amanda

    This kids needs a firm grip on reality.

    March 27, 2010 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  22. Norm

    Are you kidding!? This kid just needs to relax. Tell Biden to put a dollar is the swear jar and get on with it.

    There are certainly more important things to be concerned with.

    March 27, 2010 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  23. John

    This kid needs to get a life. He's 17 years old and he's in a 'No Cussing Club' ?!? Does he get beat up on a regular basis?? Dude – enjoy your high school years and don't be such a dork.

    March 27, 2010 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  24. Outstanding

    Great work, McKay – keep it up.

    March 27, 2010 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  25. Eric Rosoff

    Mr. Hatch should refocus his energy on something more tangibly useful, like poverty in America. Who cares about expletives?

    March 27, 2010 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
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