Teleprompter Falls and Biden Jokes: "What am I going to tell the president when I tell him his teleprompter is broken?"

ABC News' Karen Travers reports:

As Vice President Biden delivered a commencement address to about 1,000 graduates of the Air Force Academy, a gust of wind knocked over his teleprompter.

Biden took that opportunity to crack a joke at the expense of his boss, President Obama, who famously uses a teleprompter for all of his speeches.

"What am I going to tell the president when I tell him his teleprompter is broken? What will he do then?" Biden joked at the ceremony in Colorado Springs, Col.

Perhaps Biden thought it was a safe topic to joke about, given that Obama poked fun at himself for the habit at this year’s White House Correspondents Association dinner in Washington.

"You know, I had an entire speech prepared for this wonderful occasion, but now that I'm here I think I'm going to try something a little different. Tonight I want to speak from the heart. I'm going to speak off the cuff," Obama said as a teleprompters rose on either side of his podium.

Obama’s fondness for the teleprompter has even sparked a parody web site, "Barack Obama's Teleprompter's Blog" , that proclaims "Because There Is No POTUS Without TOTUS."

The site was quick to deny any responsibility for the breakdown during Biden’s speech.

"First, it wasn't me. Second, we don't bother giving Joe a real Teleprompter. It's just two screens that plays "Tom and Jerry" cartoons on a loop."

Biden has long been known for his loquaciousness and off the cuff humor, but sometimes his jokes have fallen flat.

A joke about Chief Justice John Roberts in the early days of the administration earned Biden a dismissive shake of the head from Obama.

Roberts misspoke when administering the oath of office to President Obama on Inauguration Day, misplacing the word "faithfully" and causing some minor awkwardness on stage.

The following day, Biden was tasked with administering the oath of office to senior White House staff members.

He had just finished the oaths for several individuals who had been confirmed to Cabinet-level positions and did not seem to realize he had to do the oath a second time.

"My memory is not as good as Justice Roberts," Biden explained, prompting some laughter and groans from the audience.

In his first press conference as president, Obama was asked to explain a comment that Biden made in a speech. Biden was describing a conversation he and the president had, about an unknown subject, and said that if the Obama Administration does everything right, "there’s still a 30 percent chance we're going to get it wrong."

"You know, I don't remember exactly what Joe was referring to. Not surprisingly," Obama said, prompting laughter from the assembled reporters.

-- Karen Travers

Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...