The late Representative Jackie Walorski’s mother told President Biden that her daughter is “in heaven with Jesus” when he delivered his infamous “Where’s Jackie?” fork, The Post has learned.
Biden apologized to the Indiana Republican’s family — including her 83-year-old mother Martha “Mert” Walorski — in the Oval Office on Friday, two days after he asked where Jackie was at an anti-hunger event.
“She said, ‘Well, Mr. President, we can tell you where Jackie is.’ She’s in heaven with Jesus,” the late congresswoman’s brother Keith Walorski told The Post.
“He could only agree. He’s a very Catholic person. He’s very strong in his Catholicism. So all he could do is say, ‘Yes, you’re right. I know.'”
Biden privately apologized to the family, including Walorski’s widower Dean Swihart, during a conversation that lasted about half an hour, despite White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre taking pains to avoid publicly admitting that Biden had spoken incorrectly.
Biden then welcomed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and a small group of other lawmakers to the Oval Office as he signed a bill to rename an Indiana Veterans Affairs clinic in Walorksi’s honor.
The 79-year-old commander-in-chief laid on the charm during the Friday visit – going so far as to invite Mert Walorski to sit on his chair behind the Resolute Desk for a photo before taking the family on a special West Wing tour, including of his private dining room and the rarely seen outdoor swimming pool.
“He apologized for ‘Where’s Jackie?’ comment, and our family assured him that we have no hard feelings. We forgive him for his blunder,” said Keith Walorski, who told The Post before meeting with Biden that he felt sorry for the oldest president ever, who often speaks wrong.
“President Biden picked it up and basically said he was sorry that things went the way he did with his ‘Where’s Jackie?’ comment. We didn’t live there long. He basically laid it out and apologized, and we basically accepted his apology,” he added.
After he signed the bill, Biden actually got up from there and said to my mom, ‘Here, sit in my chair.’ And he shoved her up to the desk and she picked up the pen like she was signing the bill and they took pictures.”
Pelosi, who accompanied the family on the guided tour, “made the comment to my mom that, ‘You’re going to have a good trip. I’ve never been back here.’
Keith Walorski, who repairs electric motors and generators, hopes his sister’s legacy won’t be overshadowed by Biden’s forgery or by vendors looking to cash in on selling “Where’s Jackie?” goods.
“Our conversation was very relaxed and casual. Had we asked more complex political questions or whatever needed a little more cognitive thinking, I don’t know where they would have gone,” he said.
According to Walorski, the family strongly disagrees with Biden on policy and will not vote for him if he seeks re-election in 2024, even though the president and his staff were “very, very good to us.”
“Most of the Biden agenda is not what you would call a conservative Christian agenda. That’s who we are,” Keith Walorski said.
The president’s gaffe last week spurred widespread discussion about Biden’s mental health, and a press briefing Wednesday afternoon descended into shouting matches as reporters pressed Jean-Pierre to address Biden’s well-being after she insisted the late congresswoman was simply was “top of mind” without addressing why he thought she was alive.
“The confusing part is why if [Walorski] and family is top of mind, does the president think she lives and is in the room?” Matt Viser of the Washington Post asked Jean-Pierre.
Newsmax reporter James Rosen added, “Karine, I have John Lennon in my head almost every day, but I’m not looking for him anywhere.”
As Jean-Pierre’s evasions continued, Al Jazeera’s Kimberly Halkett told Jean-Pierre: “[We’re] asking about the president’s mental acuity… [You are] being rude to us by not answering… ‘Top of mind’ is not an answer.”
Walorski died in a car accident on August 3 in Indiana, and Biden’s obliviousness to the tragedy was more conspicuous because of his actions after her death, including lowering the White House flag for two days, calling the family to offer condolences and releasing a statement , where he paid tribute to her. achievements.