13:22 GMT +312 December 2017
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    Vice President Joe Biden gets close to new Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter's wife Stephanie.

    Biden Strikes Again: Vice President’s 'Affectionate' Habit Makes More Waves

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    Gaffe-prone Vice President Joe Biden has long been known for making himself out to be a sort of lovable fool for bungling public appearances. But it was a downright cringe-worthy scene on Tuesday, when Biden swore in Ashton Carter as the new Defense Secretary, then embraced Carter’s wife, Stephanie.

    As Carter was delivering his first speech as Pentagon chief, Biden waved for Stephanie to join him in the background, where the veep proceeded to get handsy.

    Biden placed his arms on Stephanie's shoulders – which he massaged – then leaned in close to whisper something into her ear.

    It’s unknown if Biden told Stephanie “This is a big fu**ing deal,” as he remarked to President Barack Obama upon signing health insurance reform into law, only to have the comment picked up by the microphone and broadcast to the audience.

    The Internet, of course, swiftly responded with a flurry of tweets criticizing and poking fun at Biden’s touchy-feely behavior.

    Some could call Tuesday’s ceremony an encore to Biden’s similarly hands-on performance at the swearing-in of new senators in January, when he got close to the 13-year-old daughter of Democratic Delaware Senator Chris Coons.

    Vice President Joe Biden gets close to the 13-year-old daughter of Democratic Delaware Senator Chris Coons in January.
    © AP Photo/
    Vice President Joe Biden gets close to the 13-year-old daughter of Democratic Delaware Senator Chris Coons in January.

    He also kept handing out unsolicited dating advice to all of the girls at the ceremony.

    In 2013, he tightly embraced The Hill’s White House correspondent Amie Parnes around the waist in a holiday photo.

    Biden embraces reporter Amie Parnes at a 2013 holiday party.
    Daily Caller
    Biden embraces reporter Amie Parnes at a 2013 holiday party.

    And while on the campaign trail in September 2012, Biden cozied up to a woman at a biker bar in Ohio, prompting a round of amazed stares from the motorcyclists who were there.

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    Stephanie Carter, Ashton Carter, Joe Biden
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