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A majority of Americans in the latest polling on Mr. Biden’s approval rating gave the vice president favorable marks. In a Washington Post/ABC News poll released Monday, 55 percent of respondents said they approve of Mr. Biden’s job performance and 33 percent said they disapprove.

Nonetheless, while the White House and Mr. Biden’s backers may have grounds for bemoaning the regularity with which the vice president’s words are viewed as missteps, the fact that they are is a political reality that will undoubtedly factor into whether or not Mr. Obama keeps Mr. Biden on in a 2012 re-election campaign or chooses to replace him.

In late April, Mr. Biden admitted in an interview with CBS News’ “60 Minutes” that “much of the ridicule of me is well-deserved.”

Mr. Obama said for the same piece that “if, you know, Joe was off-message on a particular day, usually I don’t have to bring it up.”

“He’s the first one to come to me and say, ‘You know what? I’m not sure that’s exactly how we want to position ourselves,’ ” Mr. Obama said.

Only a few days after that piece aired, Mr. Biden was asked about the swine flu, or H1N1 virus, during an appearance on live TV.

“I would tell members of my family - and I have: I wouldn’t go anywhere in confined places now,” Mr. Biden said, talking specifically about airplanes and subways.

After members of Congress and the airline industry complained and the comment drew attention, the White House clarified that Mr. Biden intended to say that Americans should not be out or in confined spaces if they are sick.

“I think the vice president misrepresented what the vice president wanted to say,” Mr. Gibbs said.

Since then, Mr. Biden’s missteps have multiplied.

Mr. Biden’s comments also followed Mr. Obama overseas when he traveled to Moscow earlier this month for an important two-day summit with Russian leaders. The president was asked about Mr. Biden’s comments in three out of five interviews he did with the major TV networks.

Mr. Obama told CNN that Mr. Biden had “absolutely not” been sending a signal to Israel that it would be OK to launch an attack on Iran.

He also had to explain Mr. Biden’s “misread the economy” comment by saying that forecasts of unemployment were made by his advisers before GDP data were in from last year’s fourth quarter.

On Jan. 10, Mr. Obama’s economic advisers said that unemployment would peak at about 8 percent if the stimulus were passed, but unemployment has already hit 9.5 percent, and the president himself has said it will likely go above 10 percent before the year’s end.

• Christina Bellantoni contributed to this report.