Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) apologized late Wednesday for making a joke about Vice President Joe Biden as he prepares to bury his son Beau, who died of brain cancer.
“Vice President Joe Biden,” Cruz said at a Livingston County Republican dinner in Howell, Mich., according to the Detroit News. “You know the nice thing? You don’t need a punch line.”
“I promise you it works,” the senator 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.”
Shortly after his speech ended, Cruz issued a statement apologizing for the joke.
“It was a mistake to use an old joke about Joe Biden during his time of grief, and I sincerely apologize,” Cruz said in a statement on Facebook. “The loss of his son is heartbreaking and tragic, and our prayers are very much with the Vice President and his family.”
After Cruz made the joke about Biden during his speech, he referenced a comment Biden made in 2013. While explaining that people do not need automatic weapons to defend themselves, the Vice President said, “If you want to protect yourself, get a double-barrel shotgun.”
“That is very, very good advice — if it so happens that you’re being attacked by a flock of geese,” Cruz said on Wednesday.
When Cruz was asked by a Detroit News reporter why he made a joke about Biden, the senator walked away.
— Chad Livengood (@ChadLivengood) June 4, 2015
Watch Cruz’s remarks about Biden courtesy of the Democratic-affiliated opposition research group American Bridge 21st Century: