Karine Jean-Pierre Tries to Clean up Biden's Fentanyl Laugh but Completely Blows the Opportunity

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

On Wednesday, Joe Biden inexcusably laughed while discussing a mother who lost two sons to fentanyl. On Thursday, the world’s worst press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, was dispatched to clean up the mess.

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As expected, she completely blew the opportunity, inexplicably doubling down and refusing to offer even the slightest bit of contrition on the part of the president.

The reporter’s question was fair in that it didn’t assume too much. Instead, he noted that the mother involved wants an apology for Biden’s show of callousness. Here’s how Jean-Pierre responded.

When it comes to this president, I believe the American people know who he is fundamentally because he’s been around for some time, and they have watched him go through grief, they have watched him deal with really personal loss, and um, this is a president who understands that. He expressed sympathy for her last night, and his heart goes out to any person who has to go through that type of trauma, that type of hurt.

I will say, his words are being mischaracterized by someone who is regularly discredited for things that she says that are really conspiracy theories, and those lies are being parroted by a certain network, and uh, you know, uh, I’ll just leave it there.

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I must have missed the sympathy Biden offered “last night” because all I saw was him laughing. And really, does Jean-Pierre believe it’s effective to bring up the death of Beau Biden for the umpteenth time? The question wasn’t about the president losing his son, and to make it about that only reinforces the idea that Biden is self-absorbed. He doesn’t actually care about those dying of fentanyl because of his policies, and the mother’s anger was more than justified given the flippant nature in which the administration has handled the crisis.

Further, when you personally insult someone and they ask for an apology, it is even more insulting to do the “I express sympathy to everyone” routine. It’s a backhanded way of doubling down without taking any individual responsibility for the hurt that was caused. Jean-Pierre could have easily just said, “yes, the president regrets how he came across, and he is deeply sorry for that mother’s loss.” Instead, we get yet another word salad in an attempt to ensure Biden never has to utter an apology in any form.

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Lastly, choosing to once again bring up Marjorie Taylor Greene is beyond the pale. Again, the question was about a grieving mother and how Biden reacted to her situation. He should save his complaints about Greene for another day. There’s nothing accomplished by spending time attacking her when it is the president’s behavior that is being questioned.

I don’t know who told politicians that they should never apologize for anything, but it’s obnoxious. No one would have thought any less of Biden had he responded with humility in this situation. In fact, it would have defused the entire ordeal. But leave it to Jean-Pierre to miss the easy lay-up.

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