Senator Jackie Walorski, a Republican from Indiana, passed away in August, but it seems that President Biden forgot about it.
In Washington, President Biden appeared to forget that Representative Jackie Walorski passed away last month when he searched the audience on Wednesday for Jackie Walorski, a Republican from Indiana.
Is Jackie present? Jackie, where are you? As he thanked senators for sponsoring legislation to address hunger, Mr. Biden made the following statement. The president muttered something about whether she had intended to attend the celebration as he appeared perplexed by her absence.
A car she was riding in struck head-on with another vehicle, killing Ms. Walorski and two of her congressional aides on August 3 in her district. Also, slain was the driver of the approaching vehicle.
Although Mr. Biden did not correct himself during the speech, the episode immediately gained notoriety on Twitter and other social media sites, with some people interpreting it as proof that the 79-year-old Mr. Biden is not mentally fit to serve as president.
That attack has been promoted by the president's political rivals ever since he took office. Officials from the White House have continually denied the accusation, claiming that Mr. Biden is still smart and intellectually engaged.
The White House stated Mr. Biden's name following Ms. Walorski's passing last month, expressing the president and first lady's "shock and sadness" over her passing. A statement was released a few hours after the accident saying, "My team and I cherished her participation as we planned for a historic White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health this autumn that her deep caring will distinguish for the problems of rural America."
On Wednesday, during that conference, Mr. Biden gave the impression that she was there.
After the president's remarks, the White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre refused to admit that Mr. Biden had erred or overlooked Ms. Walorski's passing.
The congresswoman was instead "front of mind" for Mr. Biden since he was honoring politicians who had worked on the hunger issue, Ms. Jean-Pierre emphasized numerous times.
She claimed that in addition to being aware of Ms. Walorski's passing, Mr. Biden was eager to visit with her family when he signed the legislation renaming a veterans hospital in Indiana in her honor.
Ms. Jean-Pierre stated that "the president was naming the legislative champions on this issue and was acknowledging her outstanding work." The congresswoman's family will be at a bill signing in her honor this upcoming Friday, so he had already planned to welcome them to the White House that day. She was, of course, on his thoughts. The president had her on his mind.
The question of why Mr. Biden would look for Ms. Walorski in the audience when her passing was "front of mind" and he was considering the upcoming meeting with her family was brought up by reporters repeatedly.
One reporter questioned, "The perplexing thing is why the president thinks she's living and in the room if she and the family are fronts of mind."
That's not unclear to me," Ms. Jean-Pierre said. I mean, I believe that many people can relate to this: Sometimes when someone is on your mind, they truly are on your mind.
Ms. The constant inquiries over Mr. Biden's comments seemed to irritate Jean-Pierre. When questioned about whether the president's statements were impacted by anything printed on the teleprompter, she replied that this was not the case.
She told the reporter, "You're rushing to many conclusions." "I just responded to your query. I would have said it if that had been the case.
Ms. Jean-Pierre stated, "I do not understand why that would be necessary," when asked if she saw a need to circulate the president's prepared statements.
Ms. Jean-Pierre presented her final response to the query after the daily briefing.
She added, "I've addressed it in this room several times previously, and my response is not going to change. "All of you may have opinions about how I'm responding, but I'm responding to the question as he perceived it. And how we perceive it.