Vice President Joe Biden has made a series of headline-making gaffes in recent weeks, but on Monday, the White House insisted Biden is still a “core member of the president’s national security team” in spite of his controversial comments.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest made his defence of Biden in his daily press briefing on Monday after ABC News’ Jonathan Karl asked how President Barack Obama responds to “to his vice president going out and continually needing to apologise for things he’s said.”
“The Vice President is somebody who has enough character to admit when he’s made a mistake,” said Earnest, who added Biden apologized for some of his comments both publicly and privately.
Biden’s recent streak of questionable remarks began when he referred to loansharks as “Shylocks” in a speech on Sept. 16. The following day, he issued an apology to the Jewish community for using the phrase, but hours later, Biden raised eyebrows again after referring to former Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew as the “wisest man in the Orient.” And over the weekend, Biden found himself apologizing to the leaders of Turkey and the United Arab Emirates after he made statements suggesting those countries gave funding to jihadist groups in Syria.
After complimenting Biden’s ability to apologise, Earnest stressed the vice president plays an important role in national security deliberations at the White House.
“The fact of the matter is, the vice president is somebody who continues to be a core member of the president’s national security team,” said Earnest. “He is somebody who has decades of experience in dealing with leaders around the globe and the president is pleased to be able to rely on his advice as we confront the variety of challenges that are critical to American national security.”
Earnest was also asked if Biden and Obama have discussed the vice president’s recent comments.
“I don’t have any conversations between the president and the vice president to read out,” said Earnest.
Watch a video of Karl’s question to Earnest below via GOP Rapid Response.
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