After days of refusing to comment on the Maui wildfires, President Biden’s attempt to extinguish public criticism with a site visit only managed to fan the flames.
Biden finally took a break from his luxury vacation at a billionaire’s mansion in Lake Tahoe, Nevada to tour the charred remains of Hawaii’s historic Lahaina, but the trip started out on a sour note when his motorcade was met by jeers while rolling through Maui.
According to Newsweek, he was met with resident’s holding signs that read “F**k Biden,” “It’s too late,” and “No comment,” in reference to his infamous refusal to acknowledge Hawaii’s worst wildfire in history while vacationing in Delaware on August 14.
Biden went viral for stopping to pet a search and rescue dog and making a joke about the boots the dog was wearing to protect its paws.
Biden jokes about how hot the ground is while touring wildfire damage in Maui pic.twitter.com/lY18UQ36fP
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) August 21, 2023
“You guys catch the boots out here?” Biden appeared to ask the press watching him. He smiled and said, “That’s some hot ground, man.”
Social media commenters were positively pissed that Biden referenced the “hot” ground on the site of a city that was destroyed by fire.
“Imagine your loved one burned to death less than a month ago and when Biden finally visits after his TWO vacations, he jokes around about how hot the ground is. Sick,” wrote Robby Starbuck.
“Biden landed in Maui and made a joke about how hot the ground was. Up next he’ll head to Pearl Harbor and order a round of Kamikaze’s,” Jimmy Falla chimed in.
“”Maui: “Biden jokes about how hot the ground is.” Nashville shooting: “Biden makes ice cream joke.” Afghanistan: “Biden jokes about evacuation.” I’m sensing a theme here,” added Jon Hasson.
White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates defended the president’s antics in an angry tweet.
Biden says to the Mayor of Maui County: "You look like you played defensive tackle for, I don't know who, but somebody good" and then says the wildfires are a "national travedy." pic.twitter.com/ZbQDx5ZW3i
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) August 21, 2023
“He’s petting one of the dogs that’s working hard searching for remains so survivors who’ve lost loved ones can have closure,” he responded. “This criticism is classless and stupid.”
To make matters worse Biden was booed for making several gaffes and ill-timed cracks during what should have been a somber speech.
Biden made a joke about the appearance of the Mayor of Maui County as he took the podium.
“You look like you played defensive tackle for, I don’t know who, but somebody good. But anyway, I want to thank you for your leadership during this unimaginable tragedy,” Biden quipped.
He also had a strange moment with Democratic Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz at the conclusion of the press conference, when Schatz offered Biden some water, and the president ambled away without responding.
NEW: President Biden once again tries to make the Maui fire that killed ~500 people about himself by telling a story about how he almost lost his corvette in a house fire.
You can always count on Biden to tell a story that didn’t happened.
“I don't want to compare difficulties,… pic.twitter.com/FI4bR85erR
— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) August 22, 2023
Biden managed to compound the backlash when he drew a parallel between the fire that has resulted in the deaths of more than 480 people, to a kitchen fire in his home.
“I don’t want to compare difficulties, but we have a little sense, Jill and I, of what it’s like to lose a home,” Biden began.
“Years ago — now 15 years ago — while I was in Washington doing ‘Meet The Press.’ It was a sunny Sunday, and lightning struck at home, on a little lake that’s outside our home — not a lake, a big pond pond,” he rambled.
Biden said the lightning hit a wire and came up underneath their home and into the heating ducts, which sparked a blaze that forced the family out of the house for “the better part of a year.”
“To make a long story short, I almost lost my wife, my ’67 Corvette, and my cat,” Biden remarked.
Twitter users took the opportunity to once again drag Biden for his “disgusting and repulsive” commentary.
“People have lost their homes, jobs, and loved ones and in typical narcissistic fashion, he tries to make the Maui disaster about himself,” someone replied.
“Biden doesn’t care that hundreds of children are missing in the ashes of Maui and presumed dead,” another added. “He still makes everything all about him. What a heartless human.”