Biden Lay's Irish PM's Mother to "Rest"

Ireland Prime Minister Brian Cowen speaks as President Barack Obama and vice president Joe Biden smile during a St. Patrick's Day reception in the East Room of the White House in Washington, March 17, 2010.
AP Photo/Alex Brandon
Vice-President Joe Biden asked for God's blessing for the late mother of Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen during a White House celebration of St. Patrick's Day — except the elderly lady is very much alive.

"God rest her soul," Biden said Wednesday night as he introduced Cowen and President Obama.

CBS Radio News White House correspondent Mark Knoller reports that the Vice-President quickly caught himself.

"Although, wait, your mom's still alive. It's your dad who passed," said Biden, adding, "God bless her soul."

"I got to get this straight," quipped Biden as the audience chuckled at his blunder.

Biden then cited the Irish proverb that "a silent mouth is sweet to hear" and yielded the podium to the president.