Biden apologizes to the family of dead congresswoman for his 'Where's Jackie?' gaffe




  • In Politics
  • 2022-10-04 15:01:00Z
  • By Business Insider
Joe Biden Hunger Conference
Joe Biden Hunger Conference  
  • Joe Biden apologized to the family of the late Rep. Jackie Walorski for mistakenly asking "Where's Jackie?"

  • Walorski's mother responded "in Heaven with Jesus" when Biden brought up the gaffe, the New York Post reported.

  • The family met with Biden before he signed a bill in her honor and then got a West Wing tour.

President Joe Biden privately apologized to the family of the late Republican Rep. Jackie Walorski of Indiana for mistakenly asking "Where's Jackie?" during a White House anti-hunger event last week, according to the New York Post.

Walorski's mother, Martha "Mert" Walorski, responded "in Heaven with Jesus" when Biden brought up his gaffe during a meeting with the family in the Oval Office on Friday, The Post says.

The family met with Biden before he signed a bill renaming an Indiana Veterans Affairs clinic in Walorski's honor, according to the Post.

"She said, 'Well, Mr. President, we can tell you where Jackie is. She's in heaven with Jesus,'" Keith Walorski, the late congresswoman's brother, told The Post.

"He could only agree. He's a very Catholic person. He's very strong in his Catholicism. So all he could do is say, 'Yes, you're right. I know.'"

Biden invited Mert Walorski to sit in his chair behind the Resolute Desk for a photo and then took the family on a tour of the West Wing that included his private dining room and an outdoor swimming pool.

"We forgive him for his gaffe," Keith Walorski told The Post.

Rep
Rep  

The meeting came two days after Biden sought out Walorski at the White House event while thanking bipartisan elected officials who introduced legislation to convene the conference.

"Jackie are you here? Where's Jackie?," Biden said, looking to the side and saying in a soft voice, "she was going to be here."

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre attempted to explain Biden's behavior by repeatedly saying Walorski was "top of mind" for Biden, who had planned to invite her family to the White House.

Walorski and two of her staffers were killed in a car crash in Indiana on August 3, prompting a statement then from Biden mourning her death.

Walorski was among members of the Indiana congressional delegation who voted to object to the certification of Electoral College votes, confirming Biden as president, after the violence of the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol.

Biden's statement after her death acknowledged disagreements on "many issues" but praised her work, her partnership with the White House on  and service to her community.

 

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