‘The president was speaking from the heart’: Karine Jean-Pierre’s bizarre defense when asked if Biden, 80, repeating the same story – word-for-word – within minutes is a ‘concern’
- Karine Jean-Pierre said Friday that President Joe Biden was ‘speaking from the heart’ when he told the same story at the same event nearly word-for-word
- Biden twice talked about how former President Donald Trump’s reaction to the racial unrest in Charlottesville motivated him to run for president in 2020
- The flub comes as a super-majority of Americans have expressed that the 80-year-old leader would not be effective in a second term
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Friday that President Joe Biden was ‘speaking from his heart’ when he repeated the same story twice at a Wednesday night fundraiser in New York City.
Jean-Pierre was twice asked Friday about Biden’s flub – said in a room without cameras rolling but with several journalists present due to rules about covering 2024 finance events.
A pool report from the event, held at food security expert Amy Goldman Fowler’s home, noted that Biden talked about how the white supremacist rally – and former President Donald Trump’s reaction to it – in Charlottesville in August 2017 inspired him to run for the White House in the 2020 cycle.
‘A few minutes later, he told the story again, nearly word for word,’ the pool report said.
NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell asked Friday, ‘Is it any concern that he would fully retell a story in the same space at the same event?’ as polls show that a super-majority of Americans are worried that Biden, 80, wouldn’t be effective through a second term.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Friday that President Joe Biden was ‘speaking from his heart’ when he repeated the same story twice at a Wednesday night fundraiser in New York City
‘Sometimes I re-speak as well from here and retell a story,’ Jean-Pierre said with a laugh.
‘But look, I think it’s important to note that the president was speaking, as you said at a fundraiser and he was speaking from his heart,’ she continued. ‘He was speaking about why he’s decided to do this.’
‘And you hear the president talk about this, it’s always incredibly emotional for him. Cause he didn’t have to. He went through an incredibly difficult time when he was deciding to jump into the race,’ she added.
Biden decided not to run for president in 2016 due to the freshness of losing his son Beau to brain cancer the year before.
The president has said many times that Trump’s ‘very fine people’ comment – seemingly equating the group of KKK members, neo-Nazis and white supremacists who descended on Charlottesville to the counter-protesters – encouraged him to jump back into politics.
President Joe Biden speaks at a gun safety event on Friday. On Wednesday he repeated the same story twice at a fundraiser in New York City where cameras were not present in the room – though was attended by a small pool of journalists covering him
‘He saw, you know, as somebody who served as senator, as somebody who served as vice president, what was going on in this country under the last president,’ Biden said.
Jean-Pierre also noted that she had not asked Biden about the gaffe.
‘I have not spoken to the president about it, certainly,’ she told reporters.
But she talked about the ‘passion that he has when he tells that story.’
‘You all saw what we saw at Charlottesville, it was devastating,’ Jean-Pierre.
One counter-protester, 32-year-old Heather Heyer, was moved over and killed by a vehicle driven by a white nationalist.
‘He spoke to that passionately – and that’s why he’s in this, he’s in this because he believes he can help move this country forward in a way that brings it to its best,’ Jean-Pierre added.
Fox News’ Peter Doocy was the first reporter in the briefing room to bring up Biden talking about Charlottesville at the same event, telling the story nearly word-for-word.
‘What’s up with that?’ he asked the press secretary.
To him, Jean-Pierre said she needed to be careful talking about the event – since it was a campaign fundraiser – as she might violate the Hatch Act.
‘Look the president was making very clear why he decided to run in 2019,’ she said. ‘I’m not going to speak to comments that were made and during a campaign event, but I can certainly speak to why the president is president today and why he decided to take on this job.’