On Saturday, May 30, Joseph “Beau” Biden III – the son of Vice President Joe Biden – died of brain cancer at age 46.
So much for respect and sympathy, though. Four days later – and less than 24 hours before a memorial service – U.S. Senator and Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz made thoughtless, irresponsible jokes about the vice president while speaking at a party event in Howell, Michigan.
At a June 3 function of the Livingston County Republican Party, Cruz said:
Vice President Joe Biden. You know the nice thing? You don’t need a punch line. I promise you it works. 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.
Cruz’s cruel comments were captured on video by American Bridge.
Chad Livengood of The Detroit News caught up with Cruz at the end of the event. The Texas senator was speaking to others about Beau Biden’s death, but when Livengood asked him why he told the insensitive joke about Joe Biden, Cruz only smirked and walked away without answering.
See that in another video from American Bridge:
It was a mistake to use an old joke about Joe Biden during his time of grief, and 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.
This blatant insensitivity by the self-proclaimed Christian candidate may only harm his campaign, though. The first to announce a campaign, an average of recent polls show Cruz to have declined to seventh place in the still-growing field of Republican presidential candidates. And crude jokes like that sure ain’t gonna help Cruz move up on the slate.
Beau Biden’s memorial service began on Thursday, June 4. A funeral for the Delaware Attorney General will be held on Saturday, June 6.