Joe Biden Celebrates Indian-American Businesses

Joe R. Biden leaves after speaking during a reception for the US-India Strategic and Commercial Dialogue Summit at the Andrew Mellon Auditorium September 21, 2015 in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read
Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Vice President Joe Biden is celebrating the contributions of India to the American economy, promising to make the ties between the countries even stronger.

“Our goal is to become India’s best friend,” Biden said during a speech at the 40th Leadership Summit of US-India Business Council (USIBC).

Biden is currently weighing a 2016 presidential run – nearly ten years after his famous gaffe about Indian-Americans while running for president in an event before he was chosen to be Obama’s running mate.

In 2006, Biden said that “you cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent,” a comment that was deemed offensive by the media. “I’m not joking,” he added with a grin.

During his speech, the Vice President made no mention of Dunkin’ Donuts or 7-Eleven, instead recognizing the contributions Indian-Americans had made to America.

“We’ve experienced it first-hand: 3 million Indian-Americans whose talent have shaped the fabric of this country in our schools, our hospitals, our research labs, in our courtrooms, in our government, in the arts and entertainment, and from Silicon Valley to Main Street,” he said.

Biden was still named to Obama’s presidential ticket in 2008 in spite of a history of gaffes, a decision Obama has called the best political decision of his presidency.

But the Vice President’s gaffe appeared to be long forgotten by both parties during the event as he called for both nations to fight intolerance.

“Both our nations have to resist the forces of intolerance and remain vigilant in our efforts to make our democracies stronger and more inclusive,” Biden explained. “It’s not just the morally right thing to do, it’s the economic necessary thing to do.”