Pity poor Joe Biden. His “there’s still a 30 percent chance we’re going to get it wrong” quote is put straight to President Barack Obama during the White House press conference just now and his boss seemed to want to say: “Vice-President Who?”
By Toby Harnden
As reporters started giggling, Obama came close to conceding that Biden was indeed a joke. “You know, I don’t remember exactly what Joe was referring to, not surprisingly.”
The President went on to say that “I think what Joe may have been suggesting, although I wouldn’t ascribe any numerical percentage to any of this, is that given the magnitude of the challenges that we have, any single thing that we do is going to be part of the solution, not all of the solution.”
Of course, Biden wasn’t saying anything of the sort – Obama knew that and all the rest of us did too.
Biden’s exact quote, read out by Fox’s Major Garrett at the presser was: “If we do everything right, if we do it with absolute certainty, if we stand up there and we really make the tough decisions, there’s still a 30 percent chance we’re going to get it wrong.”
Clearly, Obama and his aides were unhappy about Biden’s loose lips. On Friday, top Obama adviser David Axelrod said on CNN: “I don’t know exactly about what that math was.”
We’re probably going to have to get used to Obama explaining “what Joe may have been suggesting”. And Biden must be wondering if he’s going to end up as a Dan Quayle figure.
US Vice President Joe Biden gestures while US President Barack Obama signs an Executive Order in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building January 21 in Washington, DC.(AFP/Getty Images/Brendan Smialowski)