Biden complains after dust-up with reporter

By Alexander Bolton – 10/25/11 05:00 AM ET

Joe Biden’s office has complained to the Senate press gallery about a confrontation the vice president had with a conservative journalist last week on Capitol Hill.

Biden aides asked whether Senate rules were broken in the wake of thecontentious exchange between the vice president and the reporter.

Jason Mattera, who works for Human Events, a conservative magazine, used a pretext to catch Biden off guard in a Senate hallway and grill him on claims the vice president has made about jobs legislation.


Biden’s office has also contacted the standing committee of correspondents, which oversees the gallery, regarding whether Mattera broke the rules by ambushing him.

Heather Rothman, the chairwoman of the gallery’s standing committee, said the matter is under review.

“We’re aware of the concerns,” said Rothman, a reporter for BNA. “It’s being discussed.

“We’re aware this occurred and the vice president’s office [has made] contact,” she added, noting the standing committee itself hasn’t met to deliberate the issue.

The video of Wednesday’s exchange went viral, as news outlets and the Drudge Report highlighted Biden’s comment to Mattera: “Don’t screw around with me.”

CNN aired a segment — including footage of the incident — the same afternoon, and a YouTube clip of the interview has already attracted more than 380,000 views.

Biden had just left a rousing rally where Democratic leaders said Republican opposition to federal funding for police and firefighters threatened public safety. But the cable news coverage focused on the dust-up between Biden and Mattera.