Walorski was killed in a car crash along with two staffers and a driver on Aug. 3. She had been a champion of a bill that established the White House Hunger Conference Biden was addressing on Wednesday. “Jackie, are you here?” Biden said while listing lawmakers who contributed to the bill, appearing to look for Walorski in the audience. “Where’s Jackie?” the president asked again.
In a press briefing later on Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was questioned by reporters about Biden’s comments. She confirmed that the president had been speaking of Walorski but didn’t acknowledge that Biden misspoke. “He was thinking about her as he was naming out and calling out the congressional champions,” Jean-Pierre said.
Jean-Pierre didn’t comment when pressed on why Biden seemed to be looking for Walorski in the audience.
“The president … was acknowledging her incredible work,” Jean-Pierre said, noting that he had already planned to welcome Walorski’s family to the White House on Friday for a bill signing in her honor. “He looks forward to discussing her remarkable legacy of public service with them when he sees her family,” she added.