Presidential candidate and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz joked about Vice President Joe Biden during a speech on June 3, days after Biden’s son Beau died of brain cancer.
Video of the incident (below) showed Cruz speaking to attendees at a Livingston County Republican Party meeting in Howell, Michigan.
“Vice President Joe Biden,” Cruz said to a near silent response from the audience, reports The Huffington Post. “You know the nice thing? You don't need a punch line.” The joke, according to reports, had been part of previous speeches made by Cruz on the campaign trail.
“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.”
Following the interview, a reporter asked Cruz about his thoughts on the death of Beau Biden. Cruz called his passing “heartbreaking and tragic.” Detroit News reporter Chad Livengood then confronted Cruz about the poorly timed joke, reports NBC News.
“Why did you tell a joke about the vice president tonight?” Livengood asked. Cruz promptly walked away without responding.
Following intense backlash on social media for the joke, Cruz issued an apology in a post to his Facebook page.
“It was a mistake to use an old joke about Joe Biden during his time of grief, and I sincerely apologize,” he wrote. “The loss of his son is heartbreaking and tragic, and our prayers are very much with the Vice President and his family."
Watch video of Cruz’s joke below.
Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr