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Biden gaffes twice on Asia trip

by Adam Russett on August 24, 2011

Vice President Joe Biden recently completed a tour of Asia, and the media is buzzing about two gaffes he made while on the trip. Biden was on the continent for eight days, and his primary goal was to bolster U.S. relations with China, according to The New York Times.

During his time in China, Biden reportedly supported the country's controversial one-child policy. Biden was likely trying to show understanding for the nation, but his words were strongly criticized stateside.

“You have no safety net,” Biden said during the visit. “Your policy has been one which I fully understand – I’m not second-guessing – of one child per family. The result being that you’re not in a position where one wage earner will be taking care of four retired people.”

Mitt Romney was one of the first to blast Biden's statement, saying that the policy in China barring parents from having more than one child is "gruesome and barbaric" and that the Vice President's statements "should shock the conscience of every American."

Biden's second gaffe came while he was visiting U.S. forces in Japan. According to the Los Angeles Times, the Vice President was very eager to reassure troops that he wasn't there to discuss the troubling U.S. economy, saying he "didn't come to explain a damn thing."

Following that statement, Biden was quick to clarify, and told the news source that the criticism he received for the colorful remark was out of proportion.

"I didn't get any sense that there was any anxiety from them on the part of the Chinese goverment, about whether or not we were rising or declining in economic power," he told the news outlet. "I got the sense that they just like to us, they were hoping we'd begin to grow again seriously becuase it's in their interest." 

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