Telling the same tired joke over and over again is arguably just as bad as telling a "too soon" joke in bad taste. Ted Cruz earned the distinction of doing both yesterday in Michigan after he regurgitated a wisecrack he's used before about Joe Biden, just days after the vice president's son, Beau, died of brain cancer. Speaking in Howell at a GOP dinner, Cruz said, "Vice President Joe Biden. You know the nice thing? You don't need a punch line," NBC News reports. "I promise you it works. The next party you're at, just walk up to someone and say, 'Vice President Joe Biden' and just close your mouth. They will crack up laughing."
Except no one was really cracking up (Detroit News reporter Chad Livengood tweeted there was "faint laughter" in the audience), and Cruz was quickly taken to task on social media for mocking the VP while he's grieving, Politico notes. Livengood tweeted that when he asked Cruz after the event about the ill-timed joke, Cruz simply walked away (Livengood also retweeted a video of the brief encounter). Cruz issued an apology last night on both Twitter and Facebook, USA Today notes, which read, "It was a mistake to use an old joke about Joe Biden during his time of grief, and I sincerely apologize. The loss of his son is heartbreaking and tragic, and our prayers are very much with the Vice President and his family." Saul Anuzis, Cruz's campaign manager in Michigan, told Livengood, "Timing could have been better," per the Detroit News.