Jumping out of his limousine in an unannounced stop after an official appearance at the Flight 93 memorial in Shanksville, where one of the three hijacked planes crashed on September 11, 2001, Biden told the department's Deputy Chief Brad Shober that he and the other firefighters could count on an invitation to the White House for a beer, according to the pool report.
"He's going to call you, no bull**t," he said. Upon noticing the reporters behind him, the vice president self-edited: "This is no malarkey. You come to the White House. I'll buy you a beer."
Last year, at a memorial marking the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Biden gave Shober a vice presidential challenge coin and told him that, if he still had it on him when they met again, "drinks are on me." On Tuesday, Biden pledged to make good on his promise no matter the result of the November election.
"Win, lose or draw, I'm still going to be vice president in January," he said. "I give you my word. I'm not just saying it."
In his official remarks at the memorial earlier in the day, Biden struck a decidedly more sober tone.
"It's a genuine honor to be back here today. But like all of the families, we wish we weren't here. We wish we didn't have to be here. We wish we didn't have to commemorate any of this. And it's a bittersweet moment for the entire nation, for all of the country, but particularly for those family members gathered here today," he said. "It's a bittersweet moment for the entire nation, for all of the country, but particularly for those family members gathered here today."
The famously gaffe-prone politician has come under fire in recent weeks for remarks he made at a campaign event that Mitt Romney would put Americans back "in chains," comments decried for their apparent racial subtext - particularly given that a number of the people in the audience were African-American.