President Joe Biden brought in youthful reinforcements to the stage to help launch a new office on gun violence prevention amid an ‘epidemic’ of mass shootings, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with 26-year-old House member Maxwell Frost.
Biden gave Frost a speaking role in the White House Rose Garden, at a time when substantial majorities in opinion polling are registering concerns about the president’s age as he seeks reelection.
Biden pointed out that Frost, elected at 25, is the youngest member of the House.
‘I remember when I was young. We have something in common. I got elected to Senate when I was 29 years old…that was 827 years ago but it was a while,’ Biden joked.
Vice President Kamala Harris, 58, Rep. Maxwell Frost, 25, and President Joe Biden, 80, all spoke at an event launching a new office of gun violence prevention
It was a variant of a similar gag about the ancient past that he told at a Broadway fundraiser in New York Monday.
‘We will have saved American democracy . I am more optimistic about the future of this country than in the 800 years I’ve served,’ after vowing to confront Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump.
The jokes came after Biden bumped into a Brazilian flag in New York at an event with the Brazilian president, then didn’t shake Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva’s hand at the end. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was questioned Friday about Biden telling the same story twice – about launching his campaign after Charlottesville – at a fundraiser in New York.
He also flubbed this week when he spoke about the Congressional Black Caucus at an event for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
The gun violence issue has been among the most intractable, and it is one where a series or school shootings helped launch student-led movements for change. The administration says the new Office of Gun Violence Prevention will help follow through on Biden’s executive actions.
Biden, who is more than five decades older than Frost,
‘It’s the honor of a lifetime to be here today as President Biden cements his legacy as one of gun violence prevention,’ said Frost
Representative Lucy McBath (D-GA), whose son 17-year-old Jordan Davis was shot and killed in 2012 reportedly over loud music, talks with U.S. President Joe Biden after an event announcing the creation of a new White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention
Biden mentioned the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, at an event with advocates and family members of gun violence victims in the audience. He called for a FEMA-like response to mass shootings. ‘Shootings are the ultimate super storm,’ he said.
‘I’ve been to every mass shooting,’ Biden said in one odd comment, at a time when the number so far this year has reached a disturbing 500. Biden has visited the cites of many major mass shooting events, including visiting Buffalo in 2022 and the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston in 2015.
‘After every mass shooting, we hear a simple message… do something, do something,’ Biden said. ‘My administration has been working relentlessly to do something,’ he said.
He touted a bipartisan gun safety measure that he signed into law, while acknowledging the changes that remain stalled amid congressional opposition including dug-in House and Senate Republicans.
He called for bringing back the expired assault weapons ban.
‘If you need 80 shots in a magazine you shouldn’t own a gun,’ Biden said.
Biden spoke about student movements like the one that emerged after the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas high school mass shooting in Parkland, Florida.
He quoted from students he said ‘spoke to an entire generation of Americans who will not be ignored who will not be shunned and will not be silent.’
Gun control activist David Hogg, who survived the Parkland shooting, told DailyMail.com after the event that Biden spoke to the broad-based effort by bringing Frost.
‘It’s about showing that this is an intergenerational coalition,’ he said. ‘The fact that President Biden joked about the elephant in the room a little bit, you know, talked about he is older. But he did start when he was 29. Let’s talk about what comes with age: experience. There’s a reason he’s been the most effective president in our lifetimes, and it’s because he’s had decades of experience in the Senate and across the government,’ he said.
Before he got elected, Frost rose to prominence as a staff organizer for March for Our Lives.
Biden tapped Vice President Kamala Harris to lead the office. She was a California prosecutor before getting elected to the Senate.
It puts more on her plate following blowback over her oversight of ‘root causes’ of migration amid the migrant crisis, with 10,000 border crossings on Tuesday.
Longtime Biden aide Stefanie Feldman will direct the new office.
Appearing earlier in the White House briefing room was Rep. Lucy McBath (D-Ga.), who lost her son Jordan Davis when he was shot in a car at a gas station.
‘Nobody wants to experience what I have. But my story is becoming far to common in the United States of America,’ she said.