Some recent comments from president Joe Biden – namely, “Where’s mom? Mom – is she here?” – from a press conference with tetraplegic artist Tyree Brown have been rocketing around conservative quarters of the internet, apparently as evidence of “brain freeze” and “complete confusion”. But what did he mean by it? Who’s mom was Biden referring to?
Joe Biden’s ‘Where’s mom?’ remarks explained
President Biden made his remarks during an event to celebrate the 31st anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act yesterday, in the White House Rose Garden.
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She was in attendance at the event with Joe Biden in order to share her story as a disabled artist. Brown also thanked Biden, Harris and the administration as a whole for being advocates for the disability community.
What happened next?
After taking to the stand, Joe Biden called Tyree Brown “an inspiration”, and thanked her for sharing her story. He greeted several other guests present, and then asked, “by the way, where’s mom? Mom – is she here?”
Brown replied, “She’s at home watching” – as in, watching on television. Tyree’s mother is Deree Cox. Besides being a supporter to her daughter – driving her to physical therapy, cooking meals, and so on – Cox has also been her subject.
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However, for whatever reason, Tyree’s mother was not able to attend the Rose Garden event yesterday. Biden seems to have presumed that she would be there.
What did Joe Biden mean when he asked ‘Where’s mom?’
Biden’s detractors have taken his remarks as evidence of confusion and even senility. In these cases, his not knowing whether or not Tyree Brown’s mother was in the audience has been used against him.
Others have praised the president for being “considerate and compassionate” in wanting to greet the mother of his guest speaker. In this case, asking the question in the first place is taken as a positive.
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What is clear is that, in a milieu in which videos of Joe Biden are doctored in order to smear him, anything he says that isn’t absolutely according to script is bound to result in a Twitter frenzy.
Is Joe Biden’s mom still alive?
Joe Biden’s own mother, Catherine Eugenia Finnegan Biden (her family called her Jean), passed away in 2010. She was 92 years old.
For Mother’s Day last year, Biden tweeted a message to his mother and “the extraordinary mothers everywhere”.
At the end of the event, Joe Biden gave Tyree Brown, along with several others, a pen. She thanked him; he thanked her; the event concluded at 11:40am EDT.