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

Biden apologizes to teen for F-word

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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.

Filed under: Joe Biden • Popular Posts
soundoff (110 Responses)
  1. Hador

    That kid wows to continue to keep politicians responsible for their actions?

    Well kid, how about trying to keep them responsible for their REALLY IMPORTANG actions like the laws they sign or the laws they mess up, instead of bickering about a single word uttered to his boss and accidently caught on TV?

    May 19, 2010 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  2. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    There are a lot more things this teen kid needs to focus on other than the "F" word because if this is the first time he heard it surely it won't be the last.

    May 19, 2010 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  3. Russ

    Oh and I'm sure this wonderful, self rightous, perfect teenager has never heard this word before or hasn't ever used it himself. Give me a break!!! What do his parents keep him in isolation? This is nothing more than a publicity stunt by his parents. Get an F'n life!!!

    May 19, 2010 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  4. Mike Woodring

    While I do not like Joe Biden's politics and I sometimes think he is a hypocrite, I do have to say that I like the fact that he is not always polished and letter perfect like so many politicians. I think it is funny when Obama gets a small smile on his face and shakes his head at Biden. It's like Obama is saying to himself, "That's just Joe being Joe. Gotta love him or leave him. I'll love him."

    May 19, 2010 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  5. ToldUSo

    CNN, Biden did not apologize! Why is your title indicating that he did. How deceptive!!!

    Biden just pulled a Blumental which basically saying I "mispoke".

    Even the kid acknowledged this was not an apology!!!

    CNN, we all can see how in bed with this Admin you are and the other MSN.

    May 19, 2010 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  6. Big John

    As if it's such a big deal any more. I think the late (great) George Carlin explained it pretty well. ...Get over it.

    May 19, 2010 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  7. Kathleen

    I do hope that this young man will form his opinion of Candidates in a more "open minded" manner than "just one word", like what has this man contributed to the American People during his years of service to his country.

    May 19, 2010 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  8. jim

    This topic is beat to death one day after it happened. Are we REALLY that concerned about an F-bomb? There are many problems in this world and we don't need to be discussing this.

    May 19, 2010 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  9. Who Cares!?

    Come on....really? Who did he really influence with this comment? Anyone watching this on TV should be enough of a big boy to handle hearing a bad word. And politicians as role models??? Anyone who considers a politician as a role model has bigger things to worry about.

    Then again, no one would have known ANYTHING about it if the news didn't play it over and over and over again. Go write a letter to Fox.

    May 19, 2010 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  10. marcia


    May 19, 2010 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  11. Wanda

    Will our president apologize for the "F" word that he thought was so funny at the dinner he attended recently? Not!!!!!
    Just shows what kind of people we have running our country. VERY SAD.

    May 19, 2010 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  12. gino

    So this kid never heard that word, right? Never used it? What a good boy!

    May 19, 2010 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  13. Sean

    Man, who called in the uptight citizens brigade? And seriously, you're a 16 year old? Go write letters to all the Republicans who swear and shout at anyone with an opposing viewpoint. Or better yet, go play baseball or video games or something.

    May 19, 2010 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  14. billyboy

    Oh Brandon ... you must be such a virtuous young man ... let he who cast the first stone ....

    May 19, 2010 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  15. Babsie

    This kid need to relax and take it easy. It's 2010 and if the eff word shocks him, he’s living a very sheltered life and should consider travelling – or at least a therapy session which hopefully help him move past his anal retentiveness.

    May 19, 2010 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  16. me

    Okay young man, you done good. You have a letter addressed to you and signed by the VP of the United States. Now go sit down somewhere.

    May 19, 2010 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  17. CB

    16 years old and still offended by the F bomb... get a life kid. There are more important things to be doing then crying over your own fragile sensibilities and wasting the VPs time.
    It was a gaff by the VP for sure but its just a word. Get over it.
    Puritans make me want to puke.

    May 19, 2010 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  18. andy

    Biden is accident waiting to happen. Obama has put this gut under lock and key for the stupid things that he says. I guess Obama had to pick someone that made him look smart.

    May 19, 2010 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  19. ANA

    This little kid sounds like a pain in the butt. Big deal! And you got a letter from the VP. Who would take the time to write it? I can just see this kid at 25. God help us!

    May 19, 2010 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  20. RL

    Grow up kid, who cares? There's much more to worry about then Joe Biden using the F word. Work on world peace first then we can talk about this when you have all that solved.

    May 19, 2010 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  21. wbn

    This is where liberals miss the boat. They think moraity and civility are of no consequence. In fact, they think it's funny if some conservative takes a stand on these issues, and especially if a conservatives slips up morally (though it's okay for libs to live the wild life). Libs always hold up their shield of "care for the poor and disenfranchised" (pols and movie stars alike), even though statistics show it's the conservatives who give the most most (to assistance agencies and churches) to help those in need and most likely to roll up their own sleeves to help others. It's the liberal media who help prop up such hypocrisy. Liberalism is becoming a debilitating disease in America.

    May 19, 2010 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  22. rita

    For me, it was a form of gloating and gloating is not very becoming of a Vice President or even for the veiled appearance of bipartisanship. Professionalism went out the door and a young Scranton, Pennsylvania boy showed up for the signing.

    May 19, 2010 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  23. Robert

    Laughable. I hope this kid is not too shocked once he takes off the rose colored glasses and enters the real world. Besides, who really cares what Biden (or for that matter Obama) says...they both will be history in 2012.

    May 19, 2010 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  24. Ender

    "It was not really an apology, but that's as close to an apology as I will be receiving," he said.
    Awwwww. Would the little boy likes a tissue?

    Biden should have told you to "grow up" in my opinion.

    May 19, 2010 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  25. JES

    Biden you are a joke along with your boss.

    Look around the two of you will not be there in 2012.

    May 19, 2010 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
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