At a town hall event in Deerfield Beach, Florida, today, with a largely Jewish crowd at Century Village, Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., assailed internet rumors about Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, being a Muslim, and mentioned his Jewish daughter-in-law.
"There's some scurrilous stuff going around on the internet, particularly in Florida, it's simply scurrilous," Biden said. "I -- to the extent you trust me, and I don't mean that I'm anything that special -- but to the extent you trust me, and understand where my heart is, I promise you the stuff you're getting on the internet is simply not true, that's the only reason I mention it.”
Biden had been introduced by a woman named Dina Axelrod.
"Now you know Barack Obama’s chief political strategist is a guy named Axelrod," Biden said. "Just so we’re getting it straight, I wanna find out if – no relation," he said, as Dina clarified that she isn't related to top Obama political strategist David Axelrod.
"We're going to be mishpokhe before this all is over, I promise you," Biden said, using the Yiddish word for "family."
"You all think I’m kidding," Biden said. "Look, my son married -- and matter of fact, her, uh -- my son married into the Berger family," he said, referring to Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden's marriage to the former Hallie Berger.
(Hallie Biden's mother Joan is Jewish, though Hallie was raised in both the Jewish and Christian faiths.)
"And matter of fact my daughter-in-law, her first cousin is here somewhere," Biden continued. "Not sure where."
Biden then spotted her.
"There she is!" he exclaimed. "So anyway, I understand what mishpokhe is. I’ve learned. I’ve learned."
- Jake Tapper and Matt Jaffe