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Tipsheet

Joe Biden Did Not Just Say That to Maui's Wildfire Survivors

Joe Biden stuck his foot in his mouth again, which is a risk anytime he leaves the White House for public events. Regardless, this is part of the job, though one would think he would have the good sense to realize these events are incomparable. Biden finally visited the island of Maui two weeks after wildfires ravaged it. Over 100 people died, with nearly 1,000 more still missing. The disaster costs around $6 billion, but the price tag is bound to rise. It’s the deadliest wildfire in over a century, which Biden seemed blissfully aware of as he vacationed in Rehoboth earlier this month. 

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When asked about the rising death toll, Biden merely said, “No comment,” drawing criticism for its lack of compassion and empathy, qualities he’s supposedly known for in public life. So, he landed in Hawaii, got roasted by the locals for being super late, and then decided to share this story with the survivors: he knows how they feel because he made it through a small house fire back in the day. It’s cringeworthy (via NY Post) [emphasis mine]: 


President Biden told a room full of Maui wildfire survivors that he could commiserate with their plight because years ago, firefighters “ran into flames” at his own home to rescue first lady Jill Biden — retelling a story that for years has drawn unflattering fact-checks. 

The 80-year-old president was attempting to make common ground with his audience by invoking a small kitchen fire in 2004 at his Wilmington, Del., home that the local fire department said “could be considered an insignificant fire” because it was quickly doused. 

I don’t want to compare difficulties, but we have a little sense — Jill and I — what it’s like to lose a home,” Biden told the Lahaina residents, whose historic town was destroyed on Aug. 8 in wildfires that killed at least 114 people. 

Years ago now — 15 years ago — I was in Washington doing ‘Meet the Press.’ It was a sunny Sunday and lightning struck at home on a little lake that is outside of our home — not on a lake, a big pond,” Biden said. 

“And it hit a wire and came up underneath our home into the heating ducts, air conditioning ducts. And to make a long story short, I almost lost my wife, my ’67 Corvette and my cat.” 

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Joe, scores of people got burned alive, and whole communities were destroyed. If you knew this wasn’t comparable, why did you say it? I’m sure no one cares that you almost lost stuff when these residents’ lives have been obliterated. I don’t know if this is worse than the “No comment” gaffe, but it’s a noteworthy Biden blunder. I’m not saying Biden shouldn’t have gone to the island. Despite the hostile reception, he needed to assess the damage of one of the worst disasters to hit the state, but holy hell—nix the story time, sir.

Also, Joe passed out, too.

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