“The White House had some very hard headlines this week about inflation and about baby formula,” said Doocy, who often clashed with Jean-Pierre’s predecessor, Jen Psaki. “If there’s nothing new you can point to in this speech tonight, did you just schedule it to get people talking about something else?”
Biden’s speech was scheduled in the wake of a massacre in Uvalde, Texas, that killed 19 children and two teachers; another in Buffalo, New York, that left 10 dead; and several other deadly mass shootings around the country in recent weeks.
Jean-Pierre replied: “People have died.”
“We had 19 kids die in Uvalde just recently,” she continued, pointing to the shootings in Texas and New York. “Just last night in Tulsa, we’re learning of people who were, again, killed. So this is not about politics. This is not about partisan politics here.”
“It is disheartening to hear that this could potentially, or if I’m hearing this right, could be used as a political tool, and that’s not what this is,” she added. “This is about people’s lives.”
In Biden’s speech, the second evening address of his presidency, he implored Congress to pass meaningful gun control legislation, including universal background checks, a ban on assault weapons, a national “red flag” law to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill and raising the age to buy a gun to 21.