President Joe Biden is, of course, notoriously prone to utter gaffes while speaking publicly, but he arguably uttered his worst one ever during a speech on Wednesday.
Amid an address on food insecurity and hunger, President Biden referenced and appeared to inquire about the present whereabouts of the late Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN), who tragically passed away less than two months ago, Breitbart reported.
The gaffe was made even worse by the fact that Biden himself had personally issued a statement of condolences at the time of Walorski’s death, as well as that the conference he was speaking at had just paid tribute to the late congresswoman with a special video presentation that aired just prior to Biden’s remarks.
“Jackie, are you here? Where’s Jackie?”
President Biden on Wednesday morning delivered remarks at the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health, and spent a moment highlighting the group of bipartisan lawmakers, including Walorski, who were involved in the effort to combat hunger and food insecurity.
“And I want to thank all of you here, including bipartisan elected officials like Representative McGovern, Senator Braun, Senator Booker, Representative — Jackie, are you here? Where’s Jackie? I didn’t think she was — she wasn’t going to be here — to help make this a reality,” Biden said.
“Jackie, where’s Jackie?,” Joe Biden says about Rep. Jackie Walorski who died in a car accident a few months ago. pic.twitter.com/khdiesmEsx
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) September 28, 2022
Biden’s own statement of condolences and a pre-speech tribute video
That unfortunate question from President Biden — “Where’s Jackie?” — was made all the more horrifying in light of Biden’s own Aug. 3 statement that expressed how “shocked and saddened” he was by the sudden death of Rep. Walorski and two of her aides in a tragic car accident in Indiana and offered his “deepest condolences” to her grieving family.
The president proceeded in that statement to further praise and state his appreciation for Walorski’s commitment to fighting hunger and “her partnership as we plan for a historic White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health this fall that will be marked by her deep care for the needs of rural America.”
But Biden appears to have already forgotten that statement from less than two months ago, and apparently wasn’t paying attention to the planned tribute video for Walorski that was played by the conference organizers just prior to his speech.
Jean-Pierre offers absurd excuses for Biden’s gaffe
The most infuriating aspect of the entire ordeal, however, was not President Biden’s incredibly unfortunate gaffe, but rather the mind-blowingly arrogant and flippant and inconceivably absurd excuses offered up just a few hours later by White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre when pressed repeatedly on the incident during the daily briefing.
In response to multiple questions from incredulous reporters, Jean-Pierre repeatedly insisted that Biden’s reference to Walorski was due to her being “top of mind” for him with respect to the hunger conference she was involved in as well as his plans to meet with her family at the White House in the coming days to sign a bill that would rename a VA hospital in Indiana in her honor.
Few, if any, of the reporters actually accepted those excuses, though, and a shouting match actually erupted at one point as one reporter quipped that “These moments of confusion are happening with increasing frequency,” another asked for an apology, and one noted that Americans have “concerns” and “legitimate questions” about the president’s “mental acuity” that needed to be immediately addressed, but Jean-Pierre simply ignored the shouting and moved along.