Was this really Biden speaking. It had to be a double. It didn’t look like him – too fresh.
Biden leads moment of silence for Highland Park shooting victims 2 hours after shock omission from July 4th speech
By Steven Nelson
July 4, 2022 6:41pm Updated
President Joe Biden speaks during a Fourth of July celebration for military families on the South Lawn of the White House, Monday, July 4, 2022, in Washington.
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President Biden led a moment of silence Monday for the victims of a mass shooting at a Fourth of July parade near Chicago — two hours after he stunned listeners by hardly mentioning it in a speech on the White House lawn.
Biden returned to the lawn and around 7:30 p.m. asked guests awaiting fireworksto observe “a slight moment of silence for all those families” after six people died and 24 were wounded in Highland Park, Ill.
But the president still seemed fuzzy on the details, saying that the “Special Service” was helping local authorities, when he may have meant Secret Service, and he falsely said authorities hadn’t publicly shared the name of the suspect, when they had done so well beforehand.
“On a serious note, you know, there was a shooter, as you well know, in Highland Park in Chicago. And they have — I talked to the governor and to the mayor, we’re given all the help we can possibly give, including FBI and the Special Service,” Biden said.
“Anyway, they’ve identified the individual, they haven’t stated the name and I’m not going to do that now either. But they’re trying to find him and six people have passed [away] and others are wounded. But we got a lot more work to do. We got to get this under control. We got to get this under control.”
About two hours earlier around 5:30 p.m., listeners were shocked by Biden’s avoidance of the matter while giving a more formal holiday speech on the White House lawn. In the same speech, he instead attempted to comfort people upset about the recent Supreme Court ruling that rescinded federal abortion rights.
A stretcher is seen after a mass shooting at the Highland Park Fourth of July parade in downtown Highland Park, Ill., a Chicago suburb, Monday, July 4, 2022.
At least six people were killed and 24 injured after a gunman opened fire during a holiday parade.
“Y’all heard what happened today,” was Biden’s only direct reference to the Highland Park, Ill., massacre in his initial holiday remarks.
American presidents are expected to offer words of comfort in times of tragedy and Biden has done so after past shootings, such as after the May 24 murder of 21 people at a Uvalde, Texas, elementary school.
It’s unclear why Biden didn’t more fully address the shooting in his initial speech as police pursued 22-year-old suspect Robert E. Crimo III, especially as he had called the shooting “senseless” in a written statement and delayed his appearance because of the crisis.
Biden but he drew swift condemnation online for his initial sparing remarks.
Biden’s single initial reference to the shooting came as he mentioned a gun policy bill that he signed last month following high-profile mass shootings in May. The bill aims to create enhanced background checks for young adults aged 18-21, among other reforms.
First victim in Highland Park parade shooting identified as Nicholas Toledo
“Before I left for Europe, I signed a law, the first real gun safety law in 30 years. And things will get better still, but not without more hard work together. Y’all heard what happened, y’all heard what happened today,” Biden said.
Biden then spoke about the importance of voting, which some listeners deemed an aloof thing to say after innocent people were randomly murdered.
“Each day we are reminded there’s nothing guaranteed about our democracy, nothing guaranteed about our way of life. You have to fight for it, defend it and earn it by voting,” Biden said just after noting the shooting.
Although it was unclear if Biden meant to say that the shooting might have been prevented with better voting habits, some people thought so.
One person captioned a video of Biden’s remark, “A shooting? Damn, that’s crazy. Y’all should have voted harder.”
Another wrote, “LMAOOOOO yea the young people gonna make sure he doesn’t run in 2024. ‘Earn it by voting’ Noooooo heeeee didn’t!!!”
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Yet another added, “We already voted, and watching the president do nothing but campaign more shows what my vote is worth.”
By contrast, Biden gave relatively robust commentary on the Supreme Court’s June 24 ruling to rescind federal abortion rights in his initial speech on the White House lawn, including consoling words to people upset about the decision.
“The Fourth of July comes at a critical moment. Our economy is growing, but not without pain. Liberty is under assault both here and abroad,” Biden said.
“In recent days, there has been reason to think that this country is moving backward, that freedom is being reduced, that rights we assumed were protected are no longer — a reminder that we remain in an ongoing battle for the soul of America as we have for over 200 years,” he went on.
“I know it can be exhausting and unsettling. But tonight, I want you to know we’re going to get through all of this.”
Biden added: “For all that we have faced, we are going to get through this and look how far we’ve come. We are reclaiming our way of life in a pandemic, vaccines are nearly available to every American, restrictions lifted, the Fourth of July together again at the White House. And for all the challenges, America has the strongest economy in the world.”
Something smells in Denmark.