She was one of four lawmakers backing bipartisan legislation for a meeting of its kind, the first of its kind in more than 50 years. Before asking Walorski, Biden mentioned three others: Sens. Cory Booker (DN.J.) and Mike Braun (R-Ind.) and Rep. James P. McGovern (D-Mass.).
Asked later about Biden’s comments, White House press secretary Karin Jean-Pierre said Valorski had been Biden’s “top priority” as he planned to meet at Friday’s signing ceremony. to her family to sign a bill to name a veterans clinic in her honor.
In August, after Valorski’s death, Biden and first lady Jill Biden issued a statement of condolences, saying they were “thankful for her partnership in promoting the Hunger Conference.”
Two Walorski crew members and another driver were also killed in the accident in Indiana.
When answering questions at the White House briefing, Jean-Pierre did not make it clear that Biden made a mistake or may have forgotten about Varowski’s death.
“The president is nominating a congressional champion on this issue and acknowledging her excellent work,” Jean-Pierre said. “He has plans to welcome the congresswoman’s family to the White House on Friday. … She is the most important thing.
Jean-Pierre was pressured over several other issues in the episode, including a reporter who said John Lennon was a ‘top priority’ for him, but he didn’t ‘look around’ for the late Beatles member. Lennon was killed in 1980.
Jean-Pierre responded that when a journalist is president and signs the bill for Lennon, “then we can have that conversation.”
Later, Jean-Pierre said she wouldn’t answer any differently because the question was asked multiple times.
“All of you may have an opinion on how I answer this question, but I’m answering it in terms of his opinion,” she said, referring to Biden. “Again, she is the most important. He will see her family in two days to pay tribute to her, to the work she has done.”