President Biden and his family were flying off to a $30 million estate on Nantucket Tuesday night for an extended Thanksgiving holiday, while Republicans accused the president’s policies of creating the most expensive Thanksgiving ever for ordinary families.
The Bidens reportedly will be staying at the island compound of billionaire businessman David Rubenstein, a co-founder of the Carlyle Group. The 13,000-square-foot main home comes with a tennis court, pool and private dock.
“Not a good look for Biden to be talking about how much Americans are suffering under his economic policies hours before he jets off to ritzy Nantucket for Thanksgiving at an estate assessed at $30M,” tweeted Republican National Committee official Tommy Piggott.
The cost of living on the island, known as a playground of the rich and famous, is much higher than the average U.S. zip code.
The Bidens have often spent Thanksgiving on the exclusive island off the coast of Cape Cod. But it’s Mr. Biden‘s first trip there as president and at a time when Americans are grappling with record 6.2% inflation, high gas prices and shortages of consumer goods.
The cost of turkey has risen more than 20% as Thanksgiving approaches, Republicans noted repeatedly this week.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said turkeys are plentiful and the cost of a 20-pound bird is about $1 more than last year. She and other White House officials have said the administration’s policies such as expanded tax credits for families with children are putting more money in their pockets.
Pressed about what message Mr. Biden‘s trip to Nantucket is sending, Ms. Psaki said the holiday is a “time to put politics aside.”
“You are president no matter where you are,” she said. “He will conduct his work from wherever he is on any vacation, any time he is in Delaware, at Camp David or wherever he may be spending time with his loved ones. He has secure phone capabilities. He has staff traveling with him, and I think the American people can be assured that he will continue to press to lower their costs and ensure they have more breathing room.”
Some Biden supporters online pointed out that former President Donald Trump spent winter holidays at his gilded Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida.
Nantucket’s Inquirer and Mirror reported that security measures on the island have ramped up to unprecedented levels. The U.S. Coast Guard has issued a notice to boaters establishing a 400-yard restricted perimeter around Abrams Point, where the Rubenstein compound is located.
A fleet of Massachusetts state police motorcycles has arrived by ferry, and the Nantucket Fire Department has put out calls for additional personnel to be on standby, the paper reported.
Before departing for Nantucket, the Bidens joined Vice President Kamala Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff in preparing Thanksgiving meals for Washington residents in need at DC Central Kitchen. Also in attendance was celebrity chef Jose Andres, who serves on the kitchen’s board.