Capitol Hill Bureau Chief
Vice President Joe Biden, known for speaking his mind, did not disappoint the wounded American soldiers who had been invited to the vice president's residence for a summer Bar-B-Q cooked up by Sunny Anderson of the Food Network.
To start the evening, Biden welcomed the troops and their families to the poolside dinner with a few remarks.
After he talked about his son's military service, Biden pointed out, "I didn't serve in Vietnam," adding a quip, "I don't want to make a Blumenthal mistake here. Our attorney general from Connecticut
, God love him." Later on, Biden added, "I have a bad habit of saying exactly what I think!"
Despite the jokes, Biden fully supports Democrat Richard Blumenthal's Senate bid, which hit a significant rough patch last week when the New York Times ran a front-page article
about the discrepancy between the candidate's service record (he served stateside in the Marine Reserves during the Vietnam War after five deferments from service) and his public statements about being a "Vietnam veteran" and "returning from Vietnam."
Blumenthal first held a press conference to respond to the story, flanked by veterans, to say he had "misspoken"
about his service, but also to defy calls for an apology. "I will not allow anyone to take a few misplaced words and impugn my record of service to our country."
On Sunday, Blumenthal's campaign sent an e-mail to a local newspaper with a formal apology.
Biden moved on quickly from his remark about his fellow Democrat and returned the focus to the wounded service members, who are being treated at Washington's Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
"We have one truly sacred obligation: To prepare and equip those in harms' way and to care for them when they come home," the vice president said.