Ted Cruz mocks Joe Biden days after son's death, offers weak apology

"Vice President Joe Biden," Cruz said. "You know the nice thing? You don't need a punch line"

By Joanna Rothkopf

Published June 4, 2015 1:15PM (EDT)

  (AP/Nati Harnik)
(AP/Nati Harnik)

At a dinner in Howell, Mich., GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz made a joke about Vice President Joe Biden to a crowd of 650 Republicans. The joke came only four days after Biden's son, Beau, died of brain cancer.

"Vice President Joe Biden," Cruz said. "You know the nice thing? You don't need a punch line."

"I promise you it works," he continued. "The next party you're at, just walk up to someone and say, 'Vice President Joe Biden and just close your mouth. They will crack up laughing."

In the speech, Cruz then went on to make fun of Biden's comments about defending himself against intruders with a double-barrel shotgun.

The comments struck basically everyone as extremely callous, given the fact that Biden's oldest son has not yet been buried.

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"It was a mistake to use an old joke about Joe Biden during his time of grief," Cruz said less than an hour after his speech. "I sincerely apologize. The loss of his son is heartbreaking and tragic, and our prayers are very much with the Vice President and his family."

Watch Cruz's comments below:

Joanna Rothkopf

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2016 Elections Beau Biden Callousness Joe Biden Jokes Ted Cruz Video