(CNSNews.com) - President and Mrs. Biden attended a "friendsgiving" celebration at Fort Bragg on Monday evening, giving brief remarks before the meal was served.
First lady Jill Biden spoke first, then introduced her husband, who joked, "I'm Jill Biden's husband Joe Biden, as you can see. I continue to follow her." (Indeed he does follow her. At the conclusion of Joe's remarks, he wondered "where am I supposed to go?" looking to his wife for direction. More on that below.)
Evidently at a loss without prepared remarks, Biden told the troops about his wife -- and Valentine's Day. The anecdote fell flat.
Here's what he said, straight from the White House transcript:
I’m Jill Biden’s husband, Joe Biden, as you can see. I continue to follow her.
I just want you to know: When we first were elected Vice President, there was a moment where on — her favorite day of the year is Valentine’s Day, Doc. And on Valentine’s Day — there is the Old Executive Office Building; it’s directly across from the White House and the Vice — the West Wing and the Vice President’s Office. And you can look in the windows there, and the press comes down those stairs all the time.
And so, she went and got a ladder. My schoolteacher wife, my professor — got a ladder. And the windows are 16-feet high with all these panes. And at every pane, she put a — she got that stuff you use — the kids use when they’re making posters in school, and she put on a heart. And it said, “Joe loves Jill.” She did it on all five windows — four windows across.
So, the press called and said — would I do Valentine’s Day with the — on ABC. And I said, “Okay.”
And I got on, and we’re getting ready to do the event. And what happened was — they had the lights out, and we were knee to knee with the reporter who was asking the questions. And at the (mumble), she says — while we’re getting ready, she said, “Everybody says you and your wife have a great love affair going.” I said, “I think so.”
And she looked at me. I said — jokingly, said, “But everybody knows that I love her more than she loves me.”
And I swear to God, she looked at me and said, “That’s what everybody says.”
The story fell flat, no laughter, only a few polite smiles, so Joe moved on, thanking the warriors and their families who "stand and wait."
After several "thank-you-thank-you's," the president of the United States asked, "Now where am I supposed to go? I’m supposed to go back and — see how she points?" Biden said, referring to his wife. "Look at this: 'Get back here.' You can tell she’s a professor, can’t you? Well, I’m heading back, Jill. I promise. I’m coming. I’m coming.
"Oh, I got to introduce the chaplain," Biden said, after Jill pointed again. "The chaplain is going to say a prayer before we eat," Biden said, almost forgetting to introduce the man.