Biden Searches for Deceased Congresswoman at Food Conference

President Biden mistakenly asked if deceased congresswoman Jackie Walorski was present at the White House food insecurity conference. Jackie died last month in a tragic car accident.

Fumbling the Bag

Biden took a moment at the conference to credit a list of elected officials on both sides of the aisle who sponsored the bill. He said, “I want to thank all of you here for including bipartisan elected officials like Rep. (Jim) McGovern, Sen. (Mike) Braun, Sen. (Cory) Booker, Representative — Jackie, are you here? Where's Jackie? I think she wasn't going to be here — to help make this a reality.

Walorski, 58, died in a car accident last month that also took the life of two of her staffers. She was the co-chair of the House of Hunger Caucus. When questioned later on Wednesday, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre confirmed that Biden was, in fact, talking about Walorski.

“The President was naming the congressional champions on this issue and was acknowledging her incredible work. He had already planned to welcome the congresswoman's family to the White House on Friday. There will be a bill signing in her honor this coming Friday, so, of course, she was on his mind,” Jean-Pierre said. “She was top of mind for the President. He very much looks forward to discussing her remarkable legacy of public service with them when he sees her family this coming Friday.”

Biden had issued a statement after she passed saying that both he and the first lady were “shocked and saddened.” Flags were also flown at half-staff in honor of her death.

“We may have represented different parties and disagreed on many issues, but she was respected by members of both parties for her work on the House Ways and Means Committee on which she served,” Biden's statement last month said. “She also served as co-chair of the House Hunger Caucus, and my team and I appreciated 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.”

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Getting Defensive

Jean-Pierre appeared to get defensive when reporters continuously asked about Biden's comment at the conference. Despite the incessant questions, Jean-Pierre did not admit the President had made a mistake. She instead claimed that Walorski was at the top of the President's mind at the time of the comment.

CNN's Phil Mattingly inquired about why the President was asking about a deceased woman at the conference. Jean-Pierre replied, “I don't think it's all that unusual to have someone top of mind, especially as there's a big event.”

She also said that the reporter who asked if there was a mistake was “jumping to conclusions” and that she would have stated if he'd made a mistake.

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This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.