Over a dozen Democrat elected officials decided to pass on president Joe Biden’s speech in Maryland Wednesday, opting instead to attend a Joni Mitchell concert.
The president was speaking at the House Democratic Caucus retreat on a myriad of issues, including gun control, the debt ceiling and the Ukraine war.
According to Punchbowl News, 11 House Democrats, many from the party’s progressive wing, preferred to stay in Washington for the concert.
The 11 include Pramila Jayapal of Washington State, Katie Porter and Mark Takano of California, freshman Maxwell Frost of Florida, Dan Kildee and Hillary Scholten of Michigan, Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, Steve Cohen of Tennessee, Lloyd Doggett and Greg Casar of Texas and Andy Kim of New Jersey.
Joni Mitchell, an acclaimed singer-songwriter, was honored by the Library of Congress, receiving a Gershwin Prize for her work.
According to Fox News, three Dem senators were also present at the concert, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Patty Murray of Washington and Jack Reed of Rhode Island, along with several prominent Republicans including House Speaker Kevin McCarthy of California.
While most of the Democrat Caucus was in attendance for Biden’s address in Baltimore, the apparent lack of enthusiasm has left many observers wondering what the president’s party thinks about his prospects.
During his speech, Biden vowed to pass and institute strident gun control legislation, focusing on “assault weapons.”
“I know it may make some of you uncomfortable, but that little state above me, Delaware is one of them, has the highest rate, one of the highest rates of gun ownership,” Biden stated.
“But guess what? We’re going to ban assault weapons again come hell or high water and high-capacity magazines. When we did it last time to reduce mass deaths.”
That was not the only part of the speech that drew the ire of critics.
Biden also referenced the opioid crisis by bringing up the criticisms made by Rebecca Kiessling, who lost two of her sons to fentanyl overdoses after they unknowingly ingested painkillers laced with the deadly drug, as reported by Fox.
“The interesting thing is that fentanyl the boys took came during the last administration,” Biden said while laughing.
“Look, folks, anyway, I don’t want to get started.”
Kiessling was not pleased.
“As President Biden was speaking about this mother who lost her two sons, he starts to laugh… This is how you speak about the death of my sons? Because a congresswoman misspoke? You mock the loss of my sons? How dare you. What is the matter with you?” she said in a statement.
These latest gaffes and unpopular policy decisions have caused many Democrats to wonder if Biden is their best bet for 2024, which could see a possible rematch with former President Donald Trump.
A poll by ABC News/Washington Post found that six in ten Democrats would prefer someone else as the nominee.
The President’s advanced age and questions about his mental capacity are at the forefront of many Dems concerns.
“He’s done a fine job. That’s not the issue,” said Democrat voter Stephen Couture.
“Where’s his mental state gonna be another six years from now if he would be president again?”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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