VP Joe Biden sticks his foot in it again
Speaking with Matt Lauer on the Today show this morning, Vice President Joe Biden was asked whether he would advise his own family members against flying to Mexico. Biden’s very unPC answer: “I would tell members of my family — and I have — that I wouldn’t go anywhere in confined places now,” he said. “It’s not just going into Mexico. If you’re any place in a confined aircraft and one person sneezes, it goes all the way through the aircraft.”
Before long, Biden’s office issued a statement retreating from the remarks, saying he was talking only about travel to Mexico, where the new virus has hit hardest, and urging people not to use public transportation while sick.
The airline and travel industries were quick to cry foul over Biden’s remarks.
James May, president of the Air Transport Association, an airline representative, contacted Biden by letter expressing “extreme disappointment at your suggestion that people should avoid air travel.”
American Airlines spokesman Tim Smith declined to comment directly on the vice president’s remarks, but said, “To suggest that people not fly at this stage of things is a broad brush stroke bordering on fear-mongering.”
Biden is in heavy competition, vying with Janet Napolitano for the Obama embarrassment award. Trying to topple her from her lead will be difficult, but Biden is gaining ground.