Open mouth, insert presidential foot. While appearing on the South Lawn of the White House at a photo opportunity with Olympic and Paralympic athletes Wednesday, President Joe Biden committed another gaffe by telling wheelchair-bound athletes not to jump during a photograph.
The blunder came at a White House reception to honor 600 Olympic and Paralympic athletes who competed for Team USA in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics and the 2021 Tokyo Summer Games.
Preceding the gaffe, Olympian Elana Meyers Taylor praised “wheelchair player Matt Scott.” Taylor and the president then posed for a group photo, and he yelled, “Here we go. Don’t jump. She’s our photographer. Look at her,” as the photo was being taken.
Some reports say it was a joke and it drew laughter. If that’s what it was, it was a bad, insensitive joke.
RedState called it yet another of the president’s cringeworthy moments.
Biden went on to remark, “You’ve been through so damn, darn much. You helped us unite the nation.
“In you, I see who we are as a nation. We believe in America, anything is possible, and you are the explanation of what we mean.”
President Biden has a history of blunders involving disabled Americans. In 2008, while running for vice-president, he told Missouri State Senator Chuck Graham to “stand up, let ‘em see ya.” Sen. Graham is wheelchair bound. Biden then tried to excuse away his blunder by saying, “You can tell I’m new.”
New? He had been in Congress for 35 years by then.
This president can’t use the “I’m new” excuse anymore, not with his condescending remarks to Paralympians.