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White House Defends Biden After Latest Round of Gaffes

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Vice President Joe Biden bites his lip while speaking to students faculty and staff at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Mass. Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson) AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

Vice President Joe Biden has had a rough few weeks, even by his own gaffe-prone standards.

Vice President Joe Biden during a speech at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Mass., Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

ABC News reporter Jonathan Karl on Monday pressed White House spokesman Josh Earnest on Biden's recent string of unfortunate statements, the latest being his comment about the United Arab Emirates and Turkey.

Biden spoke to the crown prince of the United Arab Emirates on Sunday to say he didn't mean to imply last week that the country was supporting Al Qaeda fighters in Syria. He also apologized to the Turkish president for saying Turkey had allowed foreign fighters to cross into Syria.

“So, the vice president has apologized to the Emirates, he has apologized to the Turks, he may or may not apologize next to the Saudis,” Karl said.

“A few weeks ago he apologized to the [American Defamation League] for using the term ‘shylock,’" Karl continued. “He took heat for using the term ‘Orient’ to describe Asia. He praised Bob Packwood before a pro-women’s group. This is all in the past few weeks. What is the president’s response to his vice president going out and continually needing to apologize for things he’s saying?”

Earnest did not say whether Biden has spoken President Barack Obama about the gaffes.

“I think the vice president is somebody who has enough character who can admit that he’s made a mistake,” Earnest said.

Karl interrupted, “That’s a lot of mistakes in a short period of time.”

Earnest said Biden apologized both publicly in statements from his office as well as privately "when he picked up the telephone to clarify and apologize for his comments over the weekend.”

“The fact of the matter is, the vice president is somebody who continues to be a core member of the president’s national security team,” Earnest said. “He is somebody who has decades of experience in dealing with leaders around the globe. The president is pleased to rely on his advice as we confront the variety of challenges that are so critical to our national security.”

Karl followed, “Has the vice president also apologized to the president for any of this?”

Earnest responded, “I don’t have any conversations between the president and the vice president to read out.”

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