Brother of lawmaker Biden forgot was dead defends him saying he’s ‘doing the best he can’

The brother of the late Rep Jackie Walorski said that Joe Biden is “doing the best he can” after the president appeared to forget his sister’s death during a speech on Wednesday.

“It’s par for the course,” Keith Walorski told the New York Post of Mr Biden gaffe on Wednesday. “I feel sorry for him, really.”

Ms Walorski, a Republican who represented Indiana in the US House, was killed in a car crash last month while traveling with two staff members near Nappanee, Indiana. Mr Walorski, one of her two brothers, is scheduled to visit the White House at the end of the week.

Mr Walorski told The Post that Mr Biden called his sister’s family in the aftermath of the crash to express his “very sincere” condolances for their loss and lowered the White House flags for two days in her honor. But during an event on hunger and nutrition on Wednesday, Mr Biden appeared to forget that the congresswoman had died.

“Jackie — are you here? Where’s Jackie?” Mr Biden asked.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was repeatedly asked about Mr Biden’s statements at her press briefing later on Wednesday, but would only say that Ms Walorski is “top of mind” for the president.

“That’s probably a nice way of putting it: He’s forgetful,” Mr Walorski said. “I do n’t think anybody would look at the things that he’s done and said and say that his mind dele is as sharp as it used to be.”

Mr Biden’s mental acuity has been a frequent topic of conversation among political observers dating back to the beginning of his candidacy for the presidency in 2019, and that scrutiny only intensified after he took office last year with conservative media frequently amplifying verbal mistakes like the one he made on Wednesday.

Mr Biden has brushed off questions over his mental fitness, but polling at various points during his presidency has suggested that it is a real concern of voters — with well under half saying in a POLITICO/Morning Consult poll taken last November that they believe the president is in good health.

Mr Walorski’s remarks seemed to play that theme.

“All I’m saying right now about the president is bless his heart for trying,” Mr Walorski told The Post. “Yeah, it was a big mess-up today. inexcusable? At the. Unforgivable? At the. I’m not gonna hold it against him. I just feel sorry for him.”

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