Vice President Joe Biden says he didn't realize his profane salute to the healthcare bill was picked up on open microphones until President Barack Obama cracked up over the gaffe in the limousine afterward.
"I realized there was a microphone, but I had no idea it was that sensitive," Biden explained to the hostesses of ABC's "The View," who queried him about the incident in an appearance Thursday.
"I was whispering in his ear, and after it was over we walked out, and we got in the limo to go over to another event, and he was laughing like the devil," Biden continued.
"I said, 'What's so funny, I don't see what's funny about this.' And he said, 'Well,' he said, 'Katie, my secretary, told me that when you said that to me everybody could hear it.'"
Biden's pronouncement as Obama prepared to sign the healthcare legislation last month — "This is a big (expletive) deal" — was broadcast widely at the time, and since then has been repeatedly viewed on YouTube and even turned into T-shirts by the Democratic National Committee (the T-shirts use the abbreviation BFD).
Biden said he was a little embarrassed over the remark and thankful his mother didn't live to hear it. But Biden, who's known for gaffes but has kept his tongue pretty well in check since becoming vice president, also acknowledged: "It's not the first time."
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