(WASHINGTON) -- Two of the Obama administration’s most colorful speakers shared the stage Friday when Vice President Joe Biden came to the Pentagon to administer new Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s ceremonial swearing in. It was only a matter of time before one of them let slip something interesting.
When Panetta took the podium it didn’t take long for him to use some of the salty language that raised eyebrows during his first trip abroad as defense chief. Addressing Biden, Panetta said “I’m glad I’ve been able to give you a small break from budget negotiations. I’m sure you want to get the hell out of there for just a few moments to be able to break away.”
Panetta quickly joked about his choice of words and Biden’s renowned bluntness.
“It is something we all know that Joe’s heritage is Irish and mine is Italian. And our parents, as young people growing up in these families, always taught us to speak plainly and directly. And sometimes that’s gotten us in trouble,” Panetta said.
“As a result there was some talk here of trying to put a seven second delay on the microphones for this ceremony. But I can’t imagine why the hell that would be necessary,” he quipped, drawing laughs from both Biden and the audience.
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