Two Republican lawmakers over the weekend accused President Biden of having “abandoned the capital” in spending the weekend at his home in Delaware while war rages in Ukraine.
Reps. Mark Green of Tennessee and Darrell Issa of California — members of the House Foreign Relations Committee — mocked Mr. Biden for returning to Delaware.
Mr. Biden left the White House on Friday for Delaware to attend the memorial service of a family member. The White House confirmed Mr. Biden attended the funeral for the mother of Hallie Biden, the widow of his son, Beau. Mrs. Biden‘s mother died on Feb. 20.
He is scheduled to return Monday morning to the White House.
Speaking with the Independent, Mr. Green was talking about how “weakness” by Mr. Biden was, in part, to blame for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s assault on Ukraine. Mr. Issa then interjected to joke that there was no weakness by Mr. Biden.
“He’s gone back to Delaware — there is no weakness in the White House, he’s abandoned the capital,” Mr. Issa said.
“One hundred percent,” Mr. Green replied, laughing, according to the Independent.
Mr. Issa then mocked the Biden administration’s offer to evacuate Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy from Kyiv, where he will be arrested and likely killed if captured by Russian forces. Mr. Zelenskyy turned down the offer, saying he needs ammunition, not a ride.
“When he offered to evacuate Zelenskyy, Zelenskyy said, ‘No I need bullets,’ so [Mr. Biden] evacuated himself to Delaware,” Mr. Issa said.
Mr. Issa joked that Delaware would be “the last line of defense in the Union,” adding that Mr. Biden would be fine “as long as those trains don’t take the enemy there.”
Since taking office last year, Mr. Biden has made 45 trips to Delaware, totaling 146 days. His days in Delaware have been split between his home in Wilmington and his beach house in Rehoboth Beach.
That’s more time away from the White House than any of his three most recent predecessors during their first 14 months in office.
Mr. Biden met with his national security team on Saturday but did not make any public appearances or give any updates on the situation in Ukraine during his time in Delaware.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki defended Mr. Biden, saying he’s still on the clock, even when he’s in Delaware.
“Every president can work from everywhere they are because that is how presidencies are equipped,” Ms. Psaki said.
Mr. Biden had been criticized during the Afghanistan crisis last summer for traveling to Wilmington. In September, he was slammed by Republicans for spending Labor Day weekend in Delaware while Americans remained stranded in Afghanistan amid the U.S. withdrawal from the country.