Never one to sit quietly, Joe Biden traded boasts with a Turkish official in speeches last night, adding a pointed rebuttal to his prepared remarks, reports the New York Times. Turkey's deputy prime minister in charge of the economy boasted that Turkey's 7.5% growth rate this year stemmed from the government's strong leadership, saying, "The fast fish, not the big fish, eats the small fish." Unable to contain himself, Biden added two remarks to the start of his 31-minute speech—first, that the economic success of nations is interrelated, and, second, that the United States is much more massive than Turkey.
“The fact that our economy is three-and-a-half times as large as the next-largest economy, and larger than the next four combined, does not make us immune from what’s happening around the world,” Biden said. No one from either side showed signs of being upset by the exchange, and Biden went on to praise Turkey's economic progress, now the world's 17th-largest economy—with aspirations of being in the top 10. “With what I know about Turkey’s people and its leaders over the past 35 years, and what I’ve seen in the last decade, and what I’ve seen this week,” he said, “I’d say that’s a pretty good bet."