"(Expletive) yourself," said Cheney, in a heated exchange with Sen. Pat Leahy, D-Vt., over the vice president's ties to Halliburton, the Washington Post reported.
In December, Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kerry used the same word to describe Bush's Iraq policy as botched. A White House spokesman quickly and publicly expressed shock and dismay.
On Thursday, a Leahy spokesman also was quick to respond.
"The vice president seemed to be taking personally the criticism that Senator Leahy and others have leveled against Halliburton's sole-source contracts in Iraq," David Carle said.
Cheney's representatives responded their supervisor's lapse was not typical of the vice president.