What do people want to hear about from the president after a wildfire tears through their community, burning down their homes and all they own as they struggled to escape the roaring blaze? Presumably, the last thing those in such a predicament would want to hear about is the time the president almost lost his fancy sports car. But, of course, that was the punchline of the fire story Biden told when speaking to the wildfire’s victims.
Beginning, the president said that he doesn’t “want to compare difficulties,” but then proceeded to do exactly that, describing a time his house caught on fire from lightning striking a pond near his home and somehow coming in through the AC ducts.
“I don’t want to compare difficulties, but we have a little sense, Jill and I, what it’s like to lose a home. Years ago — now 15 years ago — 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 of our home — not a lake, a big pond — and hit a wire and came up underneath our home into the heating ducts — the air conditioning ducts,” President Biden said.
He then told the crowd that he “almost lost” his vintage sports car, saying, “To make a long story short, I almost lost my wife, my ‘67 Corvette, and my cat. But all kidding aside, I watched the firefighters, the way they responded.” As a tangent, that’s the same car the classified documents were apparently stored in his garage next to.
Biden then took a digression to do the politically smart thing and praise firefighters, saying, “You know, there’s an old expression — I grew up right across the street from a fire hall in Claymont, Delaware. And the expression is, ‘God made man, and then he made a few firefighters.’ You’re all crazy, thank God. The only people who run into flames to help other people. And they ran into flames to save my wife and save my family. Not a joke.”
And he reassured the crowd that he was ok financially because he had insurance, saying, “The smoke — and the firefighters here can tell you — sometimes smoke is so thick. From the windows out, it was that thick inside the home. And we were — we were insured. We did not have any problem, but being out of our home for a better part of a year was difficult.”
Predictably, conservatives were outraged by the story, which bordered on fiction. Conservative Twitter personality Greg Price, for example, said, “Biden says ‘Jill and I have a little sense of what it’s like to lose a home” and then tells the story of when lightning struck his house in 2004 and says ‘I almost lost my ’67 corvette and my cat.’ According to a report from the time, the lighting strike caused ‘a small fire contained to the kitchen’ that ‘was under control in 20 minutes.‘”
Watch the clip here:
Biden says "Jill and I have a little sense of what it's like to lose a home" and then tells the story of when lightning struck his house in 2004 and says "I almost lost my '67 corvette and my cat."
According to a report from the time, the lighting strike caused "a small fire… pic.twitter.com/V8IBfoZuEW
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) August 22, 2023
The RNC tweeted about it as well, also noting that it was a small fire, not a roaring blaze that demolished the house, as the president’s story implied:
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
Featured image credit: screengrab from the embedded video
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