Joe Biden was captured on camera laughing with the crowd during a breast cancer survivor’s speech at an Obama campaign event in Florida on Friday. The vice president’s alleged preoccupation with getting the crowd to sit down during a resident’s speech created an awkward scene on the stage. While a woman referred to as Barbra shared her struggles with breast cancer, Biden whispered into Senator Bill Nelson’s ear and then got up and began doing “squatting” charades to encourage the audience to sit down. The Sun City Center was filled to capacity for Biden’s visit, according to Tampa Bay Online.
After the crowd appeared to understand what Biden wanted them to do, the C-SPAN video shows him giving the audience a big grin, a thumbs up, and then broke into a little laugh. The gaffe prone vice president likely did not intend to be offensive to the woman sharing an emotional personal story, but his actions may spark controversy all the same.
Earlier this week, he made the mistake of asking a crowd if they knew anyone who had served in Iran or Iraq, he obviously meant to say Afghanistan. Anyone can misspeak, especially when being rushed around the country to plead for their job, but the squatting charades captured by C-Span make Biden appear to not appreciate the seriousness of the woman’s speech.
After the laughter invoked by the vice president interrupted Barbra twice, the cancer survivor stopped her speech and asked, ‘What’s he doing back there?’
During another recent Obama campaign stop, the second in command also decided that the crowd needed to sit down while he was at the podium. Seconds after instructing the audience to take a seat, he apologized after realizing the crowd did not have access to chairs. Perhaps Joe is just exercising good manners and does not want women or senior citizens standing through lengthy speeches but he may want to work on the timing of his “be seated” requests to avoid behavior viewed by some as rude.