On the same day the Obama campaign blasted Mitt Romney for proposing "reckless cuts" to the federal budget, Vice President Biden rushed to the Republican presidential candidate's defense on the issue of faith.
In impromptu remarks at the University of Pittsburgh, Biden said it is "preposterous" for Romney's Mormon faith to be an issue in the 2012 campaign.
Robert Jeffress, a Baptist pastor from Texas who supports Gov. Rick Perry in the Republican presidential race, stirred controversy last month when he suggested Mormonism is a "cult" and charged Romney is not really a Christian.
An unpaid evangelical Christian adviser to Romney, Mark DeMoss later told The Huffington Post he believes the Perry camp may be intentionally injecting the issue into the campaign because they did not stop Jeffress from doing interviews.
Perry's camp has vehemently denied any attempt to make Romney's faith an issue, though the controversy has remained alive in part because the Texas governor has refused to repudiate Jeffress' remarks as Romney has suggested he do.
After wrapping up a speech Friday pushing the president's jobs bill, the loquacious Biden announced he was going to drive his own staff "nuts" because he spontaneously decided to take questions from the audience at the university's Alumni Hall.
The vice president took several questions in a session that was vintage Biden because of the high-wire nature of his comments -- including one story that accidentally suggested he was referring to his parents having sex and another anecdote about being in his "skivvies" when he received a knock at the door that had a major impact on his political career.
The last question was about how Biden's own faith plays a role in his public life and he noted he's Catholic and his family was proud when John F. Kennedy was elected in 1960 despite questions about his Catholic faith.
Biden said on Friday afternoon "it's embarrassing and we should be ashamed" that these types of questions are still coming up about Romney in 2012.
Earlier in the day, the Obama campaign put out a memo attacking Romney's plan to balance the federal budget by charging it "proposes spending cut that would devastate key middle class programs to pay for tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy."
Despite their policy differences, Biden has been a consistent defender of Romney's faith being left out of the campaign prism. In a 2007 interview with CNN during his own presidential campaign, Biden was asked about Romney giving a speech about his religion in order to tamp down controversy.
"I thought it was a shame he had to make that speech," Biden said of Romney, before referring again to Kennedy's own efforts to deal with the issue in 1960.
"I thought that speech [Kennedy] gave to the Baptist ministers in Texas would end the need for any presidential candidate in the future ever [to] have to speak about or defend their religion. And I think it's a shame."
The rest of Biden's question-and-answer session on Friday was a bit lighter, especially the part where he was trying to explain his humble roots but accidentally gave the audience a visual of his parents having sex.
Noting that his childhood home was small and had paper-thin walls, Biden said he didn't know "how my parents did it," before pausing and noticing there was a lot of audience laughter.
Biden quickly caught himself and said he didn't mean his parents did "it" -- as in sex -- he meant he didn't know how they raised a family with such precious few resources.
After it appeared that an earlier questioner might be setting the vice president up for a tough question, he joked, "You're not one of those guys (who says), 'Get Biden off the ticket' are you?"
The guy turned out to be a gentle questioner. But then near the end Biden got a question about what advice he would give to a young person getting into politics and the conversation again turned to nudity.
After quoting Plato and his own dad about how half of life is "showing up" and getting the job done, Biden recalled being in a cheap motel room at the age of 29 getting ready for a political event or some such in the early 1970s when suddenly there was a knock at the door.
Biden blurted that he was "in my skivvies shaving" and he checked on the door and found that it was the chief justice of the Delaware Supreme Court.
After Biden noted he felt like he was in one of those dreams where you accidentally show up somewhere naked, he threw on a towel and let in the justice, who urged the young pol to make an improbable run for the U.S. Senate -- and the rest is history.
The audience -- and the media -- was hungry for more but after some more give and take Biden finally noted he had run about an hour over his allotted time. So he said goodbye, allowing his staff to brea