A visibly shaken Vice President Joe BidenJoseph (Joe) Robinette BidenBiden says 'enough is enough' after Santa Fe school shooting Zinke provided restricted site tours to friends: report Democrat wins Philadelphia-area state House seat for the first time in decades MORE mourned the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) as a remarkable figure in the history of the U.S. Senate, as well as a close personal friend.

"Today we lost a truly remarkable man," Biden said in remarks Wednesday morning, at times choking back tears. "To paraphrase Shakespeare, I don't think we shall ever see his like again."

"We truly, truly are distressed by his passing," Biden said of himself and his family.

The vice president detailed his closeness to Kennedy as a member of the Senate throughout the decades, including the Massachusetts senator's extensive outreach to Biden after his wife and daughter were killed in an automobile accident shortly after Biden's election.

Biden also recounted his seat in the Senate being positioned literally across the aisle from Kennedy in the Senate, saying he was a "witness to history" every day the Senate was in session.

"Don't you find it remarkable that one of the most partisan and liberal members serving in the history of the Senate had...so many of his foes embrace him?" a mournful Biden asked.

The vice president had been to talk about the stimulus and recovery during remarks at the Department of Energy this morning, but waved off the event as planned.

"I quite frankly think it would be inappropriate for me to dwell too much on the initiative that we're announcing today, and not speak to my friend," he said. "I apologize for us not being able to go into more detail about the energy bill, but I just think for me it would be inappropriate today."