He was referring to Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.), who died in a car accident in early August.
The White House offered little to say whether the accident was a simple mistake, a problem with Biden’s prepared remarks or a momentary insanity, only to explain that he had been thinking about Varowski.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Valorski has been the president’s “top priority” as he publicly praises members of Congress like her who are fighting hunger leader. Jean-Pierre added that he plans to welcome the family of the late congresswoman to the White House on Friday, when he will sign a bill to rename a veterans clinic in her honor.
But she dismissed questions about how Biden thinks Valorski’s possible appearance in the audience aligns with those plans to honor her, suggesting that such a blunder could happen to anyone.
“I don’t find it confusing. I mean, I think a lot of people can talk to — sometimes when you have a single most important person, they are the most important. That’s exactly what,” Jean- Pierre said. “And, if you put it in context – it doesn’t look like it’s happening without context.”
“Once again, he will see her family in two days,” she added.
Valowski He was one of four lawmakers backing bipartisan legislation to hold Wednesday’s meeting on hunger and nutrition, the first such meeting at the White House in more than 50 years. Before asking Walorski, Biden praised three others: Sens. Cory Booker (DN.J.) and Mike Braun (R-Ind.) and Rep. James P. McGovern (D-Mass.).
After Valorski and two of her staff died in a car crash last month, Biden and first lady Jill Biden issued a statement expressing their condolences, saying they were “thankful for her cooperation in arranging a meeting on hunger. “.
“Our deepest condolences go out to the families of her husband Dean, her staff Zachary Potts and Emma Thomson, who lost their lives in public service,” the statement read. White House flag Also down by half – staff.
Another motorist was also killed in the accident in Indiana.
Wednesday’s event marked Biden’s efforts to focus on America’s chronic hunger problem, with officials announcing that they had secured $8 billion in pledges from public and private entities to help provide more food and better food for years to come. nutrition.
“That goal is within our reach — look at how far we’ve come on child poverty,” Biden told lawmakers, officials and advocates in attendance.
The campaign works to make healthy food more affordable and accessible, provide more choices for physical activity, and strengthen research on food and nutrition. Beyond the brutality of hunger itself, the prevalence of diet-related illnesses poses broader problems for the nation, hindering military readiness, workforce productivity, academic achievement and mental health, White House officials said.
Still, hunger has not always been a top priority for a presidential administration. In 1969, President Richard M. Nixon convened a White House meeting on hunger. Decades later, First Lady Michelle Obama spearheaded the “Let’s Act” campaign focused on childhood obesity.
But some of the discussions Wednesday were overshadowed by Biden’s reference to Walowski.
As Biden praised lawmakers who have excelled in America’s fight against hunger, he looked to the crowd and signaled whether Wallowski was acknowledged in the room. The moment drew some attention, but escalated when Jean-Pierre was asked to explain the incident at a daily White House briefing hours later.
“The president is nominating a congressional champion on this issue and acknowledging her excellent work,” Jean-Pierre said. “He has plans to welcome the congresswoman’s family to the White House on Friday. … She is the most important thing.
This only raises more questions, with Newsmax’s chief White House correspondent James Rosen at one point shouting, “I think about John Lennon almost every day, but I don’t look for him everywhere.” The late Beatles in 1980 Year was killed.
“When you sign President John Lennon’s bill, we can have a dialogue,” Jean-Pierre shot back.
Later, Jean-Pierre did not make it clear that Biden had made a mistake or might have forgotten about Varowski’s death. If he had another chance, she wouldn’t say whether it was a comment Biden might have handled differently.
“I’ve answered this question many times in this room,” she said. “And my answer will certainly not change.”