The Joe Biden Gaffe Express almost ran off the tracks Thursday. Fortunately, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs was there to explain to America exactly what the Vice President meant when he told NBC's Matt Lauer people shouldn't fly on airplanes or ride the subway because of the recent swine flu outbreak.
Just hours after Biden made these comments on the "Today" show (video embedded right), Gibbs was asked about them by ABC's Jake Tapper.
Here is the marvelous exchange (video embedded below the fold with transcript h/t TVNewser):
JAKE TAPPER, ABC: My other question has to do with remarks that Vice President Biden made this morning on television. Representatives of the travel industry have accused the Vice President of coming close to fear-mongering because of his comments, and I'm wondering if you wanted to clarify or correct or apologize for the remarks that he made.
ROBERT GIBBS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Well, I think what the Vice President meant to say was the same thing that again many members have said in the last few days and that is if you feel sick, if you feel are exhibiting symptoms, flu-like symptoms -- coughing, sneezing, runny nose -- that you should take precautions, that you should limit your travel. I think he just, what he said and what he meant to say.
TAPPER: With all due respect, and I sympathize with you trying to explain the Vice President's comments, but that's not even remotely close to what he said. He was asked about if a member of his family was...
GIBBS: Jake, I understand what he said, and I'm telling you what he meant to say...