Joe Biden Apologizes For 'Poor Choice Of Words' After Making Reference To 'Shylocks'

Joe BidenAPJoe Biden speaking at an event on September 16, 2014.

Vice President Joe Biden issued a statement to Business Insider on Wednesday apologizing for his “poor choice” of words after a comment he made about “shylocks” drew criticism from Anti-Defamation League National Director Abraham Foxman.

Foxman noted the expression “shylocks” has roots in “the medieval stereotype about Jews and remains an offensive characterization to this day.” At the same time, Foxman also complimented the vice president as “friendly to the Jewish community” and an “open and tolerant individual.”

In his statement, Biden said Foxman was “correct” in his assessment.

“Abe Foxman has been a friend and advisor of mine for a long time. He’s correct, it was a poor choice of words, particularly as he said coming from ‘someone as friendly to the Jewish community and open and tolerant an individual as is Vice President Joe Biden.’ He’s right.” said Biden.

Biden made the remark in a speech to the Legal Services Corporation on Tuesday where he criticised those who would take advantage of military service members with “bad loans” as “Shylocks who took advantage of these women and men while overseas.” Foxman subsequently noted the expression “shylocks” has roots in “the medieval stereotype about Jews and remains an offensive characterization to this day.” In comment on Biden’s speech, Foxman also complimented the vice president as “friendly to the Jewish community” and an “open and tolerant individual.”

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