The Internet was a little taken aback when video of Vice President Joe Biden 'close talking' Defense Secretary Ash Carter's wife, Stephanie, at his swearing-in hit the web in February. However, Carter, a Philly-area native, had a much different reaction.
"Oh, I laughed," he told NBC's Savannah Guthrie on the Today show Tuesday. "I laughed. I laughed. They know each other extremely well, and we're great friends with the Bidens."
In that sense, the Carters appear to be on the same page. Carter's wife, for her part, said that she was not offended at Biden's behavior, which involved the vice president putting his hands on her shoulders and whispering into her ear.
Biden's fellow pols, however, were not so kind following the incident. Former Rep. Barney Frank, in fact, told Politico this month that Biden "can't keep his mouth shut or his hands to himself," which has "unfortunately diminished" how the American public views its vice president.
The media was not much more kind in Biden's touchy-feely wake. Time magazine urged readers to stop tolerating "Biden being Biden," while NBC asked if Biden is a "veep creep." And, perhaps most viciously, The Daily Beast suggested that "Joe Biden needs a tranquilizer dart" to prevent further "tactile cuckolding."
Earlier this month, President Obama also poked fun at Biden's gaffe, joking that "Joe rubs my shoulders too."
"I just wanted everybody to know. He does. It's not bad — it feels pretty good. I don't let him give me a pedicure, but…"
On Monday, Carter returned to Abington Senior High School, his alma mater, to discuss the future of national defense in America.