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Biden mixes beer with barnyard epithet

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Vice President Joseph R. Biden told a group of firefighters they could trust him to make good on a bet and have them over to the White House for beers — throwing in an expletive for emphasis in trademark Biden form.

Pointing to an aide, Mr. Biden told Deputy Fire Chief Brad Shober in Shanksville, Pa.: "He's going to call you, no bulls---."

Noticing the reporters nearby, Mr. Biden added: "I didn't know you guys were here."

But he quickly returned to kibitzing with the deputy chief, emphasizing that he was serious about his White House invitation, although he cleaned up his language a bit.

"This is no malarkey: You come to the White House. I'll buy you a beer," he said.

Mr. Biden was visiting the Shanksville Volunteer Fire Department after speaking during a Sept. 11 ceremony at the nearby memorial to the passengers of United Flight 93, a Sept. 11, 2001, flight that was hijacked and crashed in a field in western Pennsylvania after passengers attempted to regain control of the aircraft.

Chief Shober explained just how the group of firefighters earned their "no bulls---" invite to the White House. Last year, he told a White House pool reporter, Mr. Biden had given him one of his vice presidential challenge coins and told him, "Next time I see you, if you have that coin, drinks are on me. If you don't have it, drinks are on you."

Knowing that Mr. Biden might stop by the fire station, Chief Shober made sure the challenge coin was in his pocket. When Mr. Biden didn't have his coin to show him back, the vice president made the spontaneous invitation to share a beer with him at the White House.

Mr. Biden backslapped and glad-handed the group of firefighters in typical form, gripping their shoulders, joking with them and sharing stories.

One firefighter said, "You got my vote," to which Mr. Biden replied: "Thank you, man. That's not why I'm here, but thank you."

According to the pool report, he talked again about hosting the group after the election.

"Win, lose or draw, I'm still going to be vice president in January," he said. They should come on over, he said.

"That's a deal," he added. "I give you my word. I'm not just saying it."

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