The Top Joe Biden Quotes and Gaffes

Some of his most cringe-worthy moments

Joe Biden Campaigns In South Florida
Joe Raedle / Staff/Getty Images News/Getty Images

It seems so quaint now, to look back on the 2008 and 2012 campaign seasons and remember the concerns people had, the worries over what gaffe was going to come out of a presidential running mate and then vice president Joe Biden's mouth. You know, back in the era before Biden became a meme. 

On Barack Obama

"A man I'm proud to call my friend. A man who will be the next President of the United States—Barack America!"

—at his first campaign rally with Barack Obama after being announced as his running mate, Springfield, Illinois, Aug. 23, 2008
"I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that's a storybook, man."

—referring to Barack Obama at the beginning of the 2008 Democratic primary campaign, Jan. 31, 2007

"I promise you, the president has a big stick. I promise you."

—citing Theodore Roosevelt's famous quote, "Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far." April 26, 2012

Big Whoops

"When the stock market crashed, Franklin D. Roosevelt got on the television and didn't just talk about the, you know, the princes of greed. He said, 'Look, here's what happened.'"

—apparently unaware that FDR wasn't president when the stock market crashed in 1929 and that only experimental TV sets were in use at that time, interview with Katie Couric, Sept. 22, 2008

"His mom lived in Long Island for 10 years or so. God rest her soul. And—although, she's—wait—your mom's still—your mom's still alive. Your dad passed. God bless her soul."

—on the mother of Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen, who is very much alive, Washington, D.C., March 17, 2010

"Look, John's last-minute economic plan does nothing to tackle the number-one job facing the middle class, and it happens to be, as Barack says, a three-letter word: jobs. J-O-B-S, jobs."

—Athens, Ohio, Oct. 15, 2008

On Being Vice President

"Hillary Clinton is as qualified or more qualified than I am to be vice president of the United States of America. Quite frankly, it might have been a better pick than me."

—speaking at a town hall meeting in Nashua, New Hampshire, Sept. 10, 2008

"My mother believed and my father believed that if I wanted to be president of the United States, I could be, I could be vice president!"

—campaigning in Youngstown, Ohio, May 16, 2012

“Isn’t it a b*tch? This vice president thing?” 

—empathizing with a student at Harvard University who identified himself as the student body's vice president, drawing laughs from the audience. Biden added: “That was a joke, that was a joke. Best decision I ever made. I’m joking. That was a joke.” Oct. 2, 2014

So Exclamatory

"A successful dump!"

—explaining his whereabouts (dropping deadwood at the dump) to the reporters outside his home, Wilmington, Delaware, Aug. 20, 2008

"This is a big f**king deal!"

—caught on an open mic congratulating President Barack Obama during the health care signing ceremony, Washington, D.C., March 23, 2010

That's Just Embarrassing

"I guess what I'm trying to say without boring you too long at breakfast—and you all look dull as hell, I might add. The dullest audience I have ever spoken to. Just sitting there, staring at me. Pretend you like me!"

—teasing a crowd of Turkish-American and Azerbaijani-American Obama donors, April 27, 2012

"You cannot go to a 7-11 or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent....I'm not joking."

—in a private remark to an Indian-American man caught on C-SPAN, June 2006

"Stand up, Chuck, let 'em see ya."

—to Missouri state Sen. Chuck Graham, who is in a wheelchair, Columbia, Missouri, Sept. 12, 2008

"Folks, I can tell you I've known eight presidents, three of them intimately."

—Aug. 22, 2012

“Look at what they [Republicans] value, and look at their budget. And look what they're proposing. [Mitt Romney] said in the first 100 days, he's going to let the big banks write their own rules—unchain Wall Street. They're going to put y'all back in chains."

—speaking to a largely African-American audience in Danville, Virginia, Aug. 14, 2012

Naturally, these aren't the end of it.