The brother of late Representative Jackie Walorski was graceful toward President Joe Biden after the Commander in Chief erroneously called out for her at a speech in Washington Wednesday.
Keith Walorski said that he was not angry at the president and added that he spoke with Biden after Walorski was killed in a car crash on August 3, 2022.
Walorski told the New York Post Biden is ‘doing the best he can do with what he’s got right now’ and he feels sorry for the president, adding that it’s ‘par for the course’ for the 79-year-old Biden.
He did acknowledge, however, that ‘a nice way of putting it’ is that Biden is forgetful, due to his age. Walorski added, ‘I don’t think anybody would look at the things that he’s done and said and say that his mind is as sharp as it used to be.’
Walorski noted that Biden was ‘very sincere’ when he called the family after his sister was killed, noting that Biden himself has been through that process.
The brother of late Representative Jackie Walorski was graceful toward President Joe Biden after the Commander in Chief erroneously called out for her at a speech in Washington Wednesday
Keith Walorski said that he was not angry at the president and added that he spoke with Biden after Walorski (pictured in Washington with her husband) was killed in a car crash on August 3, 2022.
‘All I’m saying right now about the president is bless his heart for trying. Yeah, it was a big mess-up today. Inexcusable? No. Unforgivable? No. I’m not gonna hold it against him. I just feel sorry for him.’
Biden asked the crowd gathered for the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health in Washington, D.C. where Walorski was located as he thanked lawmakers for their work on a plan to end hunger in the U.S. by 2030.
He interrupted his own remarks to ask: ‘Jackie, are you here?’
‘Where’s Jackie? She must not be here,’ Biden concluded. It came after he also praised Senators Mike Braun, a Republican, and Cory Booker, a Democrat, on the bipartisan initiative.
The White House launched a confusing and nonsensical explanation for why President Joe Biden was looking for late Representative Jackie Walorski during an event after she was killed in a car crash in Indiana last month – and claimed she was ‘at top of mind.’
The briefing room devolved into shouts as Biden’s Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre sent reporters into a tizzy during Wednesday’s briefing when she repeatedly suggested that the president did not forget Walorski was dead when calling out for her during his remarks earlier in the day.
Jean-Pierre insisted that it’s ‘not unusual’ for people to say the names of deceased individuals when they are ‘at top of mind,’ a phrase she continued to repeat throughout her briefing Wednesday during questions from multiple outlets including CNN, CBS and The Washington Post.
‘I don’t find that confusing,’ she said when asked if having her at ‘top of mind’ also means that the president thinks Walorski is living and in the room.
‘I mean I think many people can speak to sometimes when you have people top of mind, they are top of mind,’ she said.
The reporter got snarky with Jean-Pierre, looking for an answer by saying: ‘I have John Lennon top of mind just about every day but I’m not looking around for him.’
‘When you sign a bill for John Lennon as president then we can have this conversation,’ she said, launching the briefing room into confusion and shouting over each other.
The botched excuse ended up garnering even more negative attention than the initial remarks from Biden.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s Press Secretary Doug Adres seemed exacerbated with the way Jean-Pierre handled the gaffe, tweeting: ‘just admit he misspoke!! good grief’.
A spokesperson for Texas Senator Ted Cruz said the day will go down in history as the first time members of the press recognized Biden is mentally unfit.
‘Remember where you where on September 28,2022,’ Steve Guest tweeted. ‘It’s the day it finally became ok for the White House Press pool to acknowledge that Joe Biden is senile.’
Walorski’s family plans to meet with Biden at a White House on Friday, another reason that Jean-Pierre claims she was on the president’s mind during the event.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre repeatedly said that Joe Biden was only calling out for late Representative Jackie Walorski on Wednesday because she was ‘at top of mind’
‘I think the American people out there who, you know, watch the briefing from time to time, maybe at this moment , will understand when someone is at top of mind,’ Jean-Pierre said.
‘I don’t think it’s all that unusual to have someone top of mind, especially as there’s a big event – two big events – today and also Friday that is going to occur,’ she said. ‘And so he is going to see her family, they’re going to honor her, they’re going to celebrate her.’
The White House was scheduled to play a video tribute to Walorski during the event.
Walorski, who was 58 at the time of her death, was among the four people killed in a head-on collision on August 3, 2022 when returning from a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Claypool, Indiana.
The other deceased were the driver of the other vehicle as well as two staffers in the lawmaker’s office, communications director, Emma Thomson, 28, and her district director, Zachery Potts, 27.
Biden released a statement on her passing at the time and announced that White House flags would fly at half-staff in her honor.
Jean-Pierre said that the comments needed to be taken into context so they made more sense, rather than admitting Biden made a mistake by forgetting Walorski was killed in the crash last month.
After being questioned on the mishap five times during the briefing, reporters began shouting over each other to try and get Jean-Pierre to answer the question more directly and give a more reasonable explanation.
This caused Jean-Pierre to shush and shut down Al Jazeera reporter Kimberly Halkett and call her ‘rude.’
‘I’m sorry, somebody was yelling over,’ Jean-Pierre said when trying to redirect to a reporter asking an unrelated question.
‘It is not your turn to speak and you’re being rude to your colleagues,’ the press secretary shot toward Halkett.
‘You’re yelling over your colleagues so that is incredibly rude so can you –’ Jean-Pierre said as the reporter said she was trying to get an answer to the question several members of the press asked throughout the briefing.
President Joe Biden asked a crowd at a hunger conference to point out Republican Rep. Jackie Walorski – almost two months after she was killed in a car crash in Indiana
Walorski died in a car crash in Indiana with two of her staffers in August. Biden released a statement at the time saying he was ‘shocked and saddened’ by her death
The latest gaffe will raise more questions about his mental acuity. A majority of voters told an Insider/Morning Consult poll last week that he is unfit to serve in public office.
Republican Representative Vicky Hartzler demanded that President Biden apologize to Walorski’s family.
‘Truly an awful and disgraceful blunder,’ the Missouri lawmaker noted. ‘Jackie was a selfless leader and a dear friend. Her family deserves better than this. Biden and the entire White House staff should apologize.’
Representative Jim Banks, who introduced the bill to rename a Veterans Affairs clinic after Walorski, which Biden is signing on Friday, told DailyMail.com that the blunder was ’embarrassing.’
Congressman Andy Biggs also jumped on the comments and tweeted with a clip of the video: ‘Your daily reminder that Biden is mentally unfit to be the President of the United States.’
The president could have slipped up in his remarks or there could have been a mistake with the speech on the teleprompter.
One reporter asked if the White House would release the remarks as they were prepared, which is typical with the president’s public speeches. While Jean-Pierre was receptive to the question, she also cast doubt over why it was necessary to specifically have these remarks as she continued to downplay the latest gaffe by the president.
Biden’s statement at the time of Walorski’s death read: ‘Jill and I are shocked and saddened by the death of Congresswoman Jackie Walorski of Indiana along with two members of her staff in a car accident today in Indiana.
‘Born in her beloved South Bend as the daughter of a meat-cutter and firefighter, she spent a lifetime serving the community that she grew up in – as a journalist, a nonprofit director, a state legislator, and eventually as a Member of Congress for the past nine and half years.
‘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.
‘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.
‘We send our deepest condolences to her husband, Dean, to the families of her staff members, Zachery Potts and Emma Thomson who lost their lives in public service, and to the people of Indiana’s Second District who lost a representative who was one of their own.’
Walorski was among the four people killed in a head-on collision on August 3, 2022 when returning from a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Claypool, Indiana
Biden, 79, named the late congresswoman while thanking lawmakers from both parties for their efforts in helping his plan to end hunger in the United States
The latest mishap has brought up previous questions regarding President Biden’s mental and physical fitness for office amid a series of verbal gaffes and incidents – including falling off his bike and up the stairs.
The most recent before his gaffe on Wednesday was last week at the 7th Global Fund Replenishment Conference, which was held in New York and is aimed at fighting AIDS, HIV, tuberculosis and malaria.
Following his remarks, he appears to get ‘lost’ when exiting the stage – engaging in a few awkward starts and stops and appearing to ask people in the audience how to get off stage. The scene was described as ‘terrifying’ and ‘sad’ by observers on social media.
Other awkward encounters have also been caught on camera over the last nearly two years as president, including two different instances where Biden stuck out his arm to shake hands with an invisible person.
At a White House event fresh out of his COVID quarantine, Biden appeared to forget that he already shook hands with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, sticking his hand out for a second time with a confused look on his face as the New York Democrat turned away.
It happened again in April after wrapping a speech in North Carolina where he turned to his right and stuck out his hand while staring into space and wandering around the stage before exiting.
Many have also pointed to Biden’s mishap in August when he struggled for nearly a minute trying to put on his suit jacket – and continued to have issues even with the help of first lady Jill Biden – as more evidence of his declining physical condition.
He then proceeded to drop his sunglasses leading to an overall awkward disembarkment from Marine One after surveying the storm damage in Kentucky.
One of the biggest embarrassments for Biden happened during a bike ride on his Rehoboth Beach vacation in Delaware where he completely fell off his bike and crashed to the ground.
Earlier this month during his 60 Minutes interview, Biden shot down suggestions he was too old or unfit to run again in 2024 – and said ‘watch me’.
Investigators determined that the SUV driven by Zachery Potts, 27, (left) crossed the centerline for unknown reasons in a rural area near the town of Wakarusa. Walorski communications director Emma Thomson (right) was also killed
President Biden and first lady Jill released a statement in August following the death of Walorski and her two staff members
During his speech Wednesday, Biden addressed Hurricane Ian and warned gas and oil companies not to use it as an ‘excuse’ to raise prices at the pump.
He asked Floridians to abide by evacuation orders as the Category 4 storm approaches the gulf shoreline.
‘And if you forgive me I want to add one more warning,’ Biden said. ‘That’s a warning to the oil and gas industry executives: Do no, let me repeat, do not, do not use this as an excuse to raise gasoline prices or gouge the American people.’
Biden pointed out that while the price of oil has remained relatively low, gas prices should be going down.
In recent days, the price at the pump has ticked up again.
He added that less than 2 percent of oil production in the U.S. will be impacted – and only briefly – by the hurricane.
‘This small temporary storm impact on oil production provides no excuse, no excuse for price increases at the pump. None,’ he said. ‘If gas companies try to use this storm to raise prices at the pump, I will ask officials to look into whether price gouging is going on.’
‘For Americans watching, the industry should do the right thing,’ the president added.
Biden also relayed that he had spoken to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a thorn in his side on immigration and other matters in recent months, in a phone call Tuesday night.