Vice President Joe Biden publicly thanked former President George W. Bush for his role in helping to end major combat missions in Iraq, allowing that even though they had disagreed on "policy," the 43rd president deserves "a lot of credit."
Appearing on "The Colbert Report" Wednesday night during a week of episodes devoted to honoring the troops, Biden was asked if he had anything to say about Bush's role in the war effort. He offered praise to the former president, going significantly further than President Obama did in last week's Oval Office address on Iraq.
"Mr. President, thank you," Biden said, looking directly at the camera. "You've honored these guys, you've honored these women, you've honored these troops. And I've known you your entire eight years as president. I've never known a time when you didn't care about what happened. We disagreed on policy, but you deserve a lot of credit, Mr. President."
[Gaffe rewind: Vice President Biden gets heated at custard shop]
Biden made a surprise entrance on the show, pretending to be a hot dog vendor in the audience. Host Stephen Colbert shouted: "I'll take a dog. Hot dog guy!" Biden turned around and waved his finger. "Hey, man, to you, it's Mr. Vice President Hot Dog Guy," he said, holding a box labeled "Biden's" that was modeled after the logo for Nathan's hot dogs.
Colbert apologized and said he didn't expect to see a vice president slinging hot dogs. "Read your Constitution, man," Biden explained. "I have two constitutional duties."
"I thought it was just breaking ties in the Senate," Colbert offered.
"No, the other one is giving hot dogs to returning warriors," Biden replied.
[Photos: More moments with Joe Biden]
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(Photo of Biden: Scott Gries/AP/Comedy Central)