President Joe Biden brought youthful reinforcements to the stage to help launch a new gun violence prevention agency 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 polls are raising concerns about the president’s age as he seeks reelection.
Biden pointed out that Frost, elected at age 25, is the youngest member of the House.
‘I remember when I was young. We have something in common. “I was elected to the Senate when I was 29 years old… that was 827 years ago, but it took 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 gun violence prevention agency
It was a variation of a similar joke about the distant past that he told Monday at a fundraiser on Broadway in New York.
“We will have saved American democracy. I am more optimistic about the future of this country than I have been in the 800 years I have served,” after vowing to confront Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump.
The jokes came after Biden bumped into a Brazilian flag in New York during an event with the Brazilian president, then failed to 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 was also confused this week when speaking about the Congressional Black Caucus at an event for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
The issue of gun violence is among the most persistent, and it is one in which a series of school shootings has helped spark student-led movements for change. The administration says the new Office of Gun Violence Prevention will help carry out Biden’s executive actions.
Biden, who is more than five decades older than Frost,
“It is the honor of a lifetime to be here today as President Biden strengthens his legacy of gun violence prevention,” Frost said
Rep. Lucy McBath (D-GA), whose son, 17-year-old Jordan Davis, was reportedly shot and killed over loud music in 2012, 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 during 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 superstorm,” he said.
“I’ve been to every mass shooting,” Biden said in a strange remark, at a time when the number has reached a disturbing 500 so far this year. Biden has visited the sites of many major mass shooting events, including a visit to Buffalo in 2022 and Emanuel AME Church in Charleston in 2015.
“After every mass shooting, we hear a simple message: do something, do something,” Biden said. “My government has worked relentlessly to do something,” he said.
He touted a bipartisan gun safety measure he signed into law while acknowledging changes that remain stalled amid opposition in Congress, including entrenched Republicans in the House of Representatives and the Senate.
He called for the repeal of the expired ban on assault weapons.
“If you need 80 rounds in a magazine, you shouldn’t own a gun,” Biden said.
Biden spoke about student movements like the one sparked by the mass shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
He quoted students who he said “have spoken to an entire generation of Americans who will not be ignored, who will not be shunned and who 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 effort to bring in Frost.
“It’s about showing that this is an intergenerational coalition,” he said. “The fact that President Biden was kind of making fun of the elephant in the room, you know, talking about him being older. But he did start when he was 29. Let’s talk about what comes with age: experience. “There is a reason he has been the most effective president in our lifetimes, and that is because he has decades of experience in the Senate and across government,” he said.
Before being 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 district attorney in California before being elected to the Senate.
It has more on its plate after the backlash over its oversight of the “root causes” of migration during the migrant crisis, with 10,000 border crossings on Tuesday.
Stefanie Feldman, a veteran Biden aide, will lead the new office.
Earlier, Rep. Lucy McBath (D-Ga.) appeared in the White House briefing room, who lost her son Jordan Davis when he was shot in a car at a gas station.
‘No one wants to experience what I have. But my story is becoming more and more common in the United States of America,” she said.