WH plays damage control yet again after Biden search for deceased Rep. Walorski adds to list of walk-backs
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The White House was again put on the defensive by President Biden on Wednesday after the president’s search for deceased Rep. Jackie Walorski, R-Ind., – whose death he had previously mourned – baffled viewers and reporters alike. The President speaks directly and candidly – straight from the shoulders, as he often states,” White House spokesperson Robyn Paterson told Fox News Digital when asked about President Biden’s long history of incorrectly stating things that his staff later corrected.
“Doing this has been crucial to his success in everything, from rallying the world behind Ukraine to empowering Medicare for lower drug prices,” Patterson said. Patterson said that he is not afraid to add context to a statement or direct his staff to do the same – as every President.
The White House’s comments came after press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre struggled to explain away his latest gaffe. On Wednesday, during the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health, Biden appeared to search for Walorski, who died in a car accident last month.
“I would like to thank everyone here, including bipartisan elected officials such as Senator Braun, Senator Booker and Representative… Jackie, Jackie. Biden stated, while searching for the former congresswoman. “I believe she was going to come here to make this a reality. “
Fox News Digital was informed by the White House that they have to correct several comments made by President Biden because he speaks “directly and candidly — straight off the shoulder,” as he often does.
(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY/File Photo)
A video tribute to the late Republican congresswoman was scheduled to play at the event but was not shown while the president and White House press pool were at the event. After the bizarre episode, Karine Jean-Pierre, White House press secretary, stated that Biden was “naming the congressional champions on the issue and was acknowledging the extraordinary work she did.” “
“He had planned to welcome the family of the congresswoman to the White House on Friday. There will be a bill signing to her honor this Friday,” Jean-Pierre stated. “So, naturally, she was on his mind. She was always on the president’s mind. “
Jean-Pierre doubled down on the White House’s cleanup of Biden’s fumble when pressed by reporters.
‘Pandemic is over’
Earlier this month, the White House was also forced to walk back comments Biden made to CBS News at the Detroit Auto Show about the pandemic.
“The pandemic is over,” the president said during an interview with “60 Minutes” anchor Scott Pelley at the Detroit auto show. “We still have a problem in Covid. “We still have a problem with Covid. No one is wearing masks, as you can see. Everyone seems to be in good health. “
Jean-Pierre later explained that Biden only made those comments because he was “looking around” the auto show. She pointed out that the auto show had not been held in three years.
“What he really meant is that the very severe stage of the pandemic of having … 3,000 deaths a day — that stage is no longer present,” Anthony Fauci, the top White House medical adviser, separately told Politico. “People shouldn’t be too confident that we are out of the woods. “
Multiple times during his presidency, Biden has seemingly confused U.S. policy regarding Taiwan.
“Yes if there was an unprecedented attack” Biden stated when Pelley asked him if the U.S. would respond if China invaded Taiwan this month.
Under the federal government’s “one China” policy created in 1979, the U.S. doesn’t recognize Chinese sovereignty over Taiwan, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The Center for Strategic and International Studies reports that the U.S. acknowledges the Chinese government’s position that Taiwan belongs to China, but has not explicitly stated that it would defend the country from attack.
“When the President of the United States wants to announce a policy change, he will do so. After the CBS News interview Jake Sullivan, White House National Security Adviser, stated that he had not done so. The president has made similar comments at least three times that have also prompted White House walk-backs.
Amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Biden has also made a series of comments that have earned corrections or clarifications from his White House and administration officials. In May, after Biden claimed that sanctions imposed against Russia prior to the invasion were not intended to deter military action by the United States, the U.S. ambassador at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization stated that sanctions were “obviously” intended to deter.
The White House also retracted several comments made by the president during his April trip to Europe. Biden stated that Russian President Vladimir Putin “cannot stay in power” and, in an apparent hint at regime change. He also called Putin a war crime in a departure of administration policy. He suggested that American troops would be deployed in Ukraine and that the U.S. would “in kind,” if Russia used chemical weaponry. The President was stating that Putin should not be allowed to exert power over his neighbours or the region. After the remarks on Putin, a White House official said that he was not talking about Putin’s Russian power or regime change.
“The President made it clear that we are not sending U.S. soldiers to Ukraine and that there is no change in this position,” a spokesperson stated when addressing the possibility of troop deployments.
And Sullivan explained to us that Biden meant that the U.S. would respond “in accordance” to any chemical weapons use. In March, Jen Psaki, former White House press secretary, explained that Biden was only “speaking from the heart” in calling Putin a “war crime,” but that the Department of State had not yet made an official determination.
Masking on planes
In April, Psaki also walked back remarks Biden made about masking on airplanes. The president said the decision to mask on planes was “up to” Americans following a court ruling nixing the federal mandate. The president was answering the question very literally,” Psaki said to reporters.
“They’re still recommending people wear masks on airplanes; on Air Force One — which, of course, is a federal, not a private, plane,” she continued, referencing Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance. “We all wore masks when we traveled to New Hampshire yesterday. “
Former White House press secretary Jen Psaki is pictured on Feb. 24. Psaki was forced by Biden to clarify, correct or walk back statements she made while in the position.
(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Legitimacy of 2022 election
In January, Biden implied the upcoming midterm election would be illegitimate if Congress didn’t pass voting rights legislation, triggering additional clarification from Psaki. The bill was not passed by the Senate.
“It all depends on whether we’re able make the case to Americans that some of this was being set up to alter the election outcome,” Biden stated during a press conference.
“I don’t think it’s going be legit, but the increase in the possibility of being illegitimate reflects the fact that we have not been able to pass these reforms,” he said.
In response, Psaki said Biden wasn’t casting doubt on the election, but actually making the opposite point.
“Lets be clear: [Biden] was not casting doubt on the legitimacy of the 2022 election,” Psaki tweeted. “He was making the opposite point: In 2020, a record number of voters turned out in the face of a pandemic, and election officials made sure they could vote and have those votes counted. “
Biden said “he had been there before” when asked why he hadn’t visited the U.S.-Mexico border amid a migrant surge during a CNN town hall in October 2021.
Psaki said the president was referring to a trip he made to the border in 14 years ago.
“He did drive through the border when he was on the campaign trail in 2008,” she told reporters. “And he is certain with the fact – and it stuck with him. – the fact that the border runs right through the middle of El Paso. “
National Guard activation
During the same CNN town hall, Biden stated that he would consider activating the National Guard to assist with supply chain issues facing the country.
However, Psaki then said the White House wasn’t “actively pursuing the use of the National Guard on a federal level. “
“It’s something any president would be able to do, and the authority to do but it is not something that is under active consideration,” she stated.
Fox News Digital reporters Nikolas Lanum and Adam Shaw contributed to this report.
Houston Keene is a politics reporter for Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to Houston.Keene@Fox.com and on Twitter: @HoustonKeene
I have been writing professionally for over 20 years and have a deep understanding of the psychological and emotional elements that affect people. I’m an experienced ghostwriter and editor, as well as an award-winning author of five novels.