The Florida mayor to whom Joe Biden uttered a profanity captured by a live microphone, sparking a minor viral fuss, said the presidential swearword did not bother him in the slightest.
The two men met on Wednesday, as Biden visited areas of Florida hit by Hurricane Ian. The president was heard to say: “Nobody fucks with a Biden.”
The incident set off a minor media storm. The White House did not comment.
Ray Murphy, the mayor of Fort Myers Beach, told NBC: “It was not directed at anybody. It was just two guys talking. It didn’t faze me one bit. That’s just the way two guys talk to each other from our respective backgrounds.”
Murphy told NBC he and the president quickly discovered they had a lot in common.
“We’re both Irish Catholics,” he said. “We’re both devout Catholics. But every once [in] a while a little salty language comes out.”
Biden has had brushes with hot mics and salty language before. Most famously, in 2010 he enlivened the signing ceremony for the Affordable Care Act by telling his then boss, Barack Obama: “This is a big fucking deal.”
Biden later told NPR: “Thank God my mother wasn’t around to hear.”
In January this year, Biden appeared to think his microphone was off when he called a Fox News reporter, Peter Doocy, “a stupid son of a bitch” for asking a question about inflation. The president apologized for the remark.
Two weeks ago, a swearword uttered after a conversation with Biden generated headlines of its own.
As Yoon Suk-yeol left a chat with Biden at the United Nations general assembly in New York, the South Korean president was caught by a “hot” microphone saying: “How could Biden not lose face if these fuckers do not pass it in Congress?”
He was referring to an attempt to increase the US contribution to the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
From Florida, speaking to NBC, Murphy suggested that if nobody messes with a Biden, the fates had perhaps decided to mess a little with him.
“No sooner do I get elected and Covid broke [out],” he said. “And if Covid wasn’t enough, now a hurricane to boot. As the Irish would say, if we didn’t have bad luck, we wouldn’t have any luck.”