During the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health, President Biden asked if the late Representative Jackie Walorski (R-IN) was in attendance. Rep. Walorski was a key ally to President Biden in his push to end hunger in the U.S. by 2030. Rep. Jackie Walorski and two of her staff members were killed in a car accident in August.
During his speech, Biden asked at least twice if Rep. Walorski was in attendance at his event.
After name-checking Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Mike Braun (R-IN), he then appeared to refer to Walorski. “Jackie, are you here? Where’s Jackie? She must not be here,” Biden said before moving on. In a somewhat ironic twist moments later, the president recounted the close friendship he had with the late Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) while discussing the need for bipartisanship.
The White House Press Pool pressed Biden’s Press Secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre on the issue. The Press Secretary repeatedly dodged the questions, claiming that “Walorski was “top of mind” for Biden and that he’ll meet with her family this week.
“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,” Jean-Pierre said. “So, of course, she was on his mind. She was at top of mind for the president.”