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.
‘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.
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.
‘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.
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