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. Ken

    There is no such word "cussing". If he is college-bound, then he should know the actual word is "cursing".

    March 27, 2010 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  2. Ken

    Get a life!!

    March 27, 2010 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  3. Joan

    VP Biden is a role model and his grandchildren would not be too proud I bet if it had been audible. I was watching the whole thing as it happened and didn't hear him say that so it couldn't have been that loud. It wasn't until the news media picked it up and made such a big deal out of it that I even knew he said it. It seems that some in the media were so desperate to find something negative to talk about and print regarding the signing of the health care bill that they read lips or something to come up with this. And it wasn't even a slow news day.

    March 27, 2010 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  4. doro

    Oh, Lord, I'm so tired of prudery and smugness and these Disneyfied Teutonic fantasies about what life used to be like in this country, back in the days that never were, when we were all white and Christian and pure of heart, or whatever. This child should know that there were vivid cussers amongst the Founding Fathers, who used language in ALL its aspects with a great deal of zest and skill. The fact is, human beings have been cussing since the first human thumb got smashed by the first mis-aimed rock; cussing is a vivid and universal mode of communication, and I'd rather hear it than, for example, the latest focus-grouped sound bite from a political campaign, or the latest priggish slogan from the latest campaign to Purify America. The cuss, at least, has intensity and authenticity.

    March 27, 2010 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  5. S Callahan

    This makes me want to cry...from the mouth of babes comes truth. Thank You God. No soul on this earth is removed from errors of the lips.... but one must be conscience of what one says and be cautious of what comes from the mouth....for what is in the heart comes out from the mouth. Joe is certainly one to fall short...and none of us are immune to that. It does distrub me that the media does not have standards to address this as unbecoming of any official.

    I like the idea this child proposes...bring civility back.

    March 27, 2010 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  6. mark

    Biden is a joke....

    March 27, 2010 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  7. JR

    Yeah kid... go get your 10 seconds in the public limelight... You probably know and use the same "colorful metaphors" in your daily life...

    Ok, can we get back to trying to salvage our country now?

    March 27, 2010 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  8. vette gal

    There's a huge difference between saying it on the Congress floor and saying it in someone's ear. Those of you thatr don't know the difference aren't very intelligent. This kid must the the only teenager out there that doesn't use this word. Biden's remark was meant for the President only; unfortunately, the mike picked it up and the media ran with it as usual to try to drum up business for their cable shows. If the journalists would concentrate on the real meat of their job, we wouldn't have all this strife always going on.

    March 27, 2010 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  9. RAG

    Nothing sadder than a self-righteous prig teenage, so full of himself than he cannot see how truly full of crap he is. His parents must want him to be bullied and not get laid until old age...

    March 27, 2010 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  10. harold

    Funny.. and all this from a teenager?..Maybe he heard something new?..... Why does he not go further and refer back to the former VP . Cheney... when he told some Democrat to go .....himself?

    March 27, 2010 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  11. Republicans are Americas Taliban

    If Joe Biden were a wet behind the ears teenager I would expect him to act like a teenager but since he is an adult and passing health care reform is a BIG FXXXING DEAL I expect him to act like the proud adult he is and if you cannot accpet him with an expletive deleted little Repugliban Boy whos parents put you up to this the rest of America really doesn't care. Cry Boo Hoo all the way back to your Repugliban parents because the rest of America isn't buying you or your Repugliban parents outrage ok little Repugliban Boy?

    March 27, 2010 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  12. CJ/PA

    I can't believe the number of "adults" who are saying "there's more important things to worry about." True, but the deterioration of our language is just a part of the deterioration of our society, our morals, and our behavior. It is NOT just a word - it's a sign of disrespect and crudeness. People are so used to saying these words that they think it's OK - and it's NOT! This kid is smarter than most people posting on here who say these words every day, in front of their children!!

    March 27, 2010 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  13. maria

    Okay, we're not in elementary school anymore... it's ridiculous that this kid is even getting media coverage. Surprise! Cursing is pervasive in the real world and is sometimes an apt and powerful means of expression! And not like Biden was using it to berate anyone.

    March 27, 2010 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  14. Pat

    I like cussing. it makes me feel alive, more human. It feels natural when i cuss.

    March 27, 2010 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  15. ED FL

    having a low life crook like Hatch say somethying stupid is normal. HATCH and Romney are known for the crooked alliance they had in the Uth winter olymplics. They need to be investigsted by outsiders instead of a bunch of Mormon KOOKs who keep him in office. Why won't give a legitimate interview about withholding HealtHcare that kept his BIG BLOWHARD MOUTH SHUT when he could be helping legitimate americans that the kooky mormons that he is.or represents. It is just a matter of time before he gets caught and has to leave in disgra. What a jerk taking advantage of a teenager to express his own VIAL TONGUEce

    March 27, 2010 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    I've been subjected to this clip a thousand times and I just don't hear it. Even when I listen for it, I don't hear it.

    Total non-story.

    March 27, 2010 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  17. db

    I don't remember the Cheney F-word incident getting this much play and Dick hurled his F-bomb at another human being in an ugly fit of anger.

    March 27, 2010 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  18. Perusing-through

    . . . get every movie producer, video game manufacturer, musician, and Tea Party protestor who used similar language to also apologize?

    If you don't care to do this, then it is pretty clear that your fake request to have V.P. Biden apologize is about your momma's attempt to politicize Biden's choice words.

    Moving on . . .

    March 27, 2010 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  19. ypsifan

    iT ISN'T SO MUCH THE "F' WORD THAT WORRIES ME. You hear that every day numerous times from men of all ages and a few women.

    The words that worry me more are the outright lies being told by the Republican leadership(?), and the fools in the Tea Party, bought and paid for by the right wing extremists. These are the same idiots that were camp followers chasing after Town Hall meetings screaming and carrying the signs printed by the Republican HQ.

    And now, they are the people throwing bricks through Dem windows, spitting on Congressmen, and screaming out nasty comments. This pathetic group is out of control and playing follow the leader from place to place, unable or too unskilled, apparently, to find a job. If this keeps up, blood will flow on both sides and nothing will be gained.

    March 27, 2010 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  20. Republicans are Americas Taliban

    So where was this Repugliban Brat when Boner was screaming Hell NO over 20 times in Congress and the Loser from Texas was screaming Baby Killer? Oh, thats right, this brat is a Repugliban Brat so that didn't count, just like those who screamed the N word at Congressmen and called another the F word or spat on them, where was the Repugliban Brats outrage then, oh yeah, I forgot, those were Repugliban as well so they do not count, go home to your pathetic Repugliban parents little Repugliban Brat Boy!

    March 27, 2010 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  21. Chris

    People still use the word cuss? Really...

    March 27, 2010 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  22. Kelly

    I respect you point of view Vice President he should be held to a higher standard as well as Mr. Cheney. One shouldn't have to use that word to make a point.

    March 27, 2010 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  23. joec

    What do you expect from a classless man (not really a man) like Biden. He is not a role model and is definitely an embarrassment to the United States.

    March 27, 2010 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  24. Henry Miller, Libertarian, Cary, NC

    Thereby proving that there's no minimum-age requirement for self-righteous prudery.

    March 27, 2010 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  25. Perusing-through


    The kid 'coincidently' said nothing when V.P. Cheney told Sen. Patrick Leahy to go !&#$* himself.

    How ironic, , , , or is it just hypocrisy?

    March 27, 2010 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
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