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Biden Cracks Blumenthal Joke At Veterans' Barbecue

First Posted: 05/26/10 01:00 PM ET Updated: 05/25/11 05:35 PM ET

Biden Blumenthal Joke

Vice President Biden poked fun at Richard Blumenthal's Vietnam-record scandal during a poolside barbecue for wounded veterans Tuesday night.

"I didn't serve in Vietnam. I don't want to make a Blumenthal mistake here. Our attorney general from Connecticut, God love him," Biden said, according to Leo Shane, the pool reporter on hand.

Shane doesn't report how the 50 people in attendance at the Vice President's official Naval Observatory residence -- veterans and their family members, plus the U.S. Navy Band and Food Network chef Sunny Anderson, herself a vet -- reacted to Biden's joke. He does write, however, that Biden later added, "I have a bad habit of saying exactly what I think."

The full pool report appears below:

VP Biden and Dr. Biden hosted a poolside BBQ for wounded warriors from the Mologne House (and their families, about 50 total). US Navy Band's country-bluegrass group was on hand to provide music, and Food Network's Sunny Anderson was the chef for the evening.

Anderson is a retired senior airman and had her uncle, Maj. Gen. Rodney Anderson, on hand. Menu included grilled pizza, honey mustard pulled pork with apricot BBQ sauce, Patriotic trifle and double chocolate chip squares, none of which was offered to your pool reporters.

Troops in attendance included several amputees and at least one young man using a guide dog to navigate the crowded pool patio.

VP and Dr. Biden arrived at 620 pm. Quotes below, but double check against the transcript later tonight.

Most notably, while talking about the experience of troops returning from Vietnam, he joked "I didn't serve in Vietnam. I don't want to make a Blumenthal mistake here. Our attorney general from Connecticut, God love him." Later on he added "I have a bad habit of saying exactly what I think."

He started off the dinner saying "it seems an understatement to thank you for your service and sacrifice." Spoke about his own son's military service, how he prayed every morning he was deployed in Iraq, so he could relate "just barely" to what their families went through.

"We have one truly sacred obligation: ... To prepare and equip those in harms' way and to care for them when they come home." Talked about the money the White House has invested in the VA. "We've put the taxpayers' money where our mouth is."

After more words of appreciation, Dr. Biden spoke for a few moments about her work with military families and her recent trip to the Mologne House to meet with some of the same troops. As the pool reporters were ushered out the pair went from table to table talking to the guests.

Staff tells me the beer on hand was Yuengling, Sam Adams and Bud Lite, if anyone is still tracking that. Several of the wounded troops were gathered around that table before the VP's arrival, laughing and posing for pictures with the residence in the background.

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Filed by Jeff Muskus  |