Vice President Joe Biden opened a Jewish American Heritage Month celebration with a poke at his boss -- and himself -- as he asked for a teleprompter to be removed.
"You can't tell Barack that the teleprompter's down," Biden said. "The standing joke in the office is Barack's learning to speak without a teleprompter; I'm learning to speak with one."
Biden is widely considered to be pondering a third presidential run and the speech was at least the third he's made in the past month to a key Democratic constituency. In his remarks, he credited Judaism with inspiring the U.S.
"The core, core, core basic values that make us distinguished from almost every nation is the heritage that you're celebrating in Jewish Heritage Month," he said. "The truth is that Jewish heritage, Jewish culture, Jewish values are such an essential part of who we are that's it's fair to say that Jewish heritage is American heritage."
His remarks at the reception at the American Institute of Architects building on New York Avenue were delayed as he called Oklahoma Thunder forward Kevin Durant for giving $1 million for tornado relief.
Introduced by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who sponsored the heritage legislation, Biden credited her work during the 2012 campaign, saying she was "one of the reasons why Barack and I were reelected."
He noted that Obama "sends his best," but that "he is, as they say, otherwise occupied with a few problems."