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Orrin Hatch is red-faced at prayer breakfast

Published: Friday, Feb. 5 2010 12:02 p.m. MST

WASHINGTON — It was supposed to be a solemn moment. President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden watched Thursday as Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, was about to offer the prayer at the National Prayer Breakfast. Then it happened.

Hatch's cell phone rang just as he stepped up to the microphone. The audience, including the president and vice president, burst into laughter.

"Oh, dear," Hatch said as he fumbled with the phone trying to silence it. "I never learned how to turn that alarm off. I apologize."

The laughter finally died down as Hatch silenced the phone. He paused for a moment, blushing, and said, "Let us pray," and the audience burst into laughter again.

Not surprisingly, news video of the incident became a popular hit on the Web Thursday afternoon.


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— Lee Davidson

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