President Joe Biden on Monday made a questionable attempt to comfort survivors of the Maui fires, regaling them with a story about a small kitchen fire he once suffered while saying he “knows what it’s like to lose a home.”
In a clip posted to X, the president strutted across the stage while donning a lei and speaking matter-of-factly about a 2004 lightning strike that he has embellished on multiple occasions. His remarks were meant to relay sympathy to the survivors of uncontrollable fires that have displaced thousands and left a death toll of at least 115 persons as of Tuesday morning.
“We have a little sense, Jill and I, of what it’s like to lose a home. Years ago, now 15 years ago… lightning struck… and hit a wire that came up underneath our home into the heating ducts, er, air conditioning ducts. To make a long story short, I almost lost my wife, my ’67 Corvette, and my cat,” said the president.
President Biden’s story was retold last year during a visit to Superior, Colorado where he toured the damage of a winter wildfire in the city’s suburbs that destroyed more than 1,000 homes. In a rebuttal, the Republican National Committee called the story a “lie” and cited a story from the Associated Press that the fire was contained to his kitchen and doused within 20 minutes by firefighters.
Biden tells victims of last week's Colorado wildfires that he once "had lightning strike our home and almost lose our home."
That is a lie. According to a 2004 AP report, it was "a small fire…contained to the kitchen" that "was under control in 20 minutes." pic.twitter.com/cfBDyo6KkT
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) January 8, 2022
During a 2021 visit to New Hampshire, while touting his infrastructure plan, President Biden said he could relate to the importance of a town not having a functional bridge because “having had a house burn down with my wife in it… 10 minutes makes a hell of a difference.”
The president, who was elected thanks in part to a grandfatherly image and ability to connect with others in times of grief, has stumbled badly in addressing the latest weather-related catastrophe. When asked by reporters last week what the government is doing to help victims, Biden shrugged and shouted “no comment” before hopping in a vehicle. Asked again just days later, he smirked and strolled by the press corps without saying a word.