FIRST ON FOX: Several Republican lawmakers shared their concerns about President Biden’s latest gaffe in which he appeared to search for the late Rep. Jackie Walorski, R-Ind., in a crowd while calling out for her.
During his remarks at the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health on Wednesday, Biden appeared to search for Walorski, who died in a car accident last month.
“I want to thank all of you here, including bipartisan elected officials like … Senator Braun, Senator Booker, Representative … Jackie, Jackie are you here?” Biden said, searching for the late congresswoman. “I think she was going to be here to help make this a reality.”
A video tribute to the late Republican congresswoman was scheduled to play at the event but was not shown while the president and White House press pool were at the event.
Several Republican lawmakers spoke out with their concerns on the president’s mental state, with Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, telling Fox News Digital that “Joe Biden’s diminished capacity is so blatantly obvious that even the White House Press corps couldn’t hide their concern.”
“That’s how you know it’s bad,” Cruz added.
Fellow Texas Republican Rep. Ronny Jackson, who formerly served as physician to the president for both Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump, again called for Biden to take “a cognitive test.”
“In yet another pathetic display of incompetence, Joe Biden not only thought my departed colleague was alive but he also had his puppet-master, Karine Jean-Pierre, deny he was confused,” Jackson said in a statement.
“It doesn’t take a neurologist to realize he’s in serious cognitive decline. The American people know what’s going on here and they don’t think the Commander-in-Chief is capable of doing his job,” he continued.
“It’s past time for White House staff and the liberal media to stop shielding him from questions about his mental acuity and demand he answer my call for a cognitive test,” the Texas Republican added.
Rep. Greg Murphy, R-N.C., a practicing surgeon and the GOP Doctors Caucus vice chairman, told Fox News Digital that these “kinds of senseless gaffes have become par for the course for this president” and blasted the White House for their “cover-up” of the gaffe.
“The American people can see that Mr. Biden’s mental acuity is certainly in question,” the North Carolina Republican said. “What’s more disturbing to me, however, is the way in which this White House continues to deceive and misdirect the American people on a daily basis.”
“It appears there is nothing the White House won’t do to cover up for a failed president and a failed administration,” Murphy added. “The American people clearly deserve better.”
Kyle Hupfer, the Indiana Republican Party chairman, released a statement on Wednesday after Biden’s gaffe, saying it “calls too much into question.”
“No amount of spin from the White House can justify President Joe Biden forgetting the tragic passing of Jackie Walorski — the latest gaffe that calls so much into question,” Hupfer said.
“The American people deserve a straight answer, not a political talking point, as to how the President of the United States could forget that a congresswoman he was purportedly trying to honor had passed away just last month,” he continued.
“White House Spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre’s explanation is a disrespectful lie to Jackie’s constituents and the American people,” Hupfer added. “We deserve a real answer.”
When asked for comment, White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates told Fox News Digital that “President Biden has delivered record job creation, achieved the biggest infrastructure investment in 70 years, empowered Medicare to negotiate prescription drug costs, signed the most far-reaching gun reform since 1994, made NATO the strongest it has ever been, and taken unprecedented action to fight climate change and bring manufacturing back from overseas.”
The president had mourned the late Walorski a month prior to Wednesday’s gaffe, prompting the White House to play defense and clean up another comment.
“The President speaks directly and candidly — straight from the shoulder, as he often says,” White House spokesperson Robyn Patterson told Fox News Digital in a statement, when asked about the president’s long track record of saying things his staffers later corrected.
“Doing so has been critical to his success in everything from rallying the world to support Ukraine to empowering Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices,” Patterson added. “And when he feels the need to add context to something he said, or to direct his staff to do so — as every President has — he doesn’t hesitate to.”
The White House’s comments came after Jean-Pierre struggled to explain away his latest gaffe. After the bizarre episode, Jean-Pierre said Biden “was naming the congressional champions on this issue and was acknowledging her incredible work.”
“He had already planned to welcome the congresswoman’s family to the White House on Friday, there will be a bill-signing in her honor this coming Friday,” Jean-Pierre said. “So, of course, she was on his mind. She was at top of mind for the president.”
Jean-Pierre doubled down on the White House’s cleanup of Biden’s fumble when pressed by reporters.
Biden’s mental state was also joked about by his son, Hunter, in a text exchange with his therapist from his infamous laptop.
A few months before Joe Biden launched his presidential campaign, Hunter Biden was exchanging text messages with Keith Ablow, his therapist and friend, in early January 2019. The book highlighted that Ablow and Hunter were discussing Democratic presidential candidates when Ablow said, “Your dad is the answer” and then later quoted himself, mockingly saying, “Any man who can triumph over dementia is a giant. Think what he could do for our nation’s needed recovery.”
“You’re such an a–hole, but that made me laugh out loud,” Hunter Biden replied.
Ablow went on to quote himself, saying, “Perhaps he can help us remember all we intended to be as a people since he can now remember his address,” prompting Hunter to say that his father “doesn’t need to [know] where he lives” because “that’s the only thing the secret service get[s] right at least 75% of the time.”
Fox News Digital’s Cameron Cawthorne and Thomas Catenacci contributed reporting.