By Justin Sink - 09/11/12 05:08 PM EDT
The vice president first encountered Deputy Chief Brad Shober, 44, who had preciously visited Biden's Washington residence at a reception last year. Biden told the firefighter he should come back to the nation's capital, gesturing at an aide to coordinate logistics.
“He’s going to call you, no bulls--t,” Biden said.
Then, seemingly cleaning up his language for the press, he reiterated his invitation.
“This is no malarkey. You come to the White House. I’ll buy you a beer," Biden said.
After posing for pictures with the firefighters, Biden headed to the grill with Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.
"Come on, let’s go get one. I want a hot dog," the vice president quipped.
He deposited a $20 in a fireman's boot for donations — and admitted his wife might not be happy with his dietary selection.
“She’s going to say, ‘Joe, what the hell are you doing?’ I just ate a peanut butter sandwich between here and there," Biden said.
At another point, Biden discussed the joys of the open road with some of the firefighters.
"I'm a frustrated … dragster," Biden admitted, pausing to acknowledge he probably shouldn't admit as much in front of the press.
But while Biden's blue-collar sensibility was on full display, the vice president insisted the trip wasn't intended to buoy his chances in the coming election. When one firefighter told Biden he had his vote, the vice president replied, "Thank you, man. That’s not why I’m here, but thank you.”