‘She was 12 and I was 30’ Biden says as he points at woman during teachers speech: Audience laughs

‘She was 12 and I was 30’ Biden says as he points at woman during teachers speech: Audience laughs as President says ‘we go back a long way’ and she ‘helped me get a lot of work done’ – before attacking Republicans

  • Biden spoke to teachers at the National Education Association on Friday 
  • He started the speech mainly attacking the GOP by singling out a crowd member
  • ‘You gotta say hi to me’, Biden said, pointing to someone sat near the front 
  • ‘We go back a long way. She was 12, I was 30, he added to laughs from audience
  • Later in the speech he criticized the Republican’s ‘Commitment to America’
  • He called out Kevin McCarthy and said his policy plan was ‘thin’  

President Joe Biden started a Democratic National Committee speech with a teachers union on Friday with eye-opening remarks.

Pointing to a member of the crowd at the National Education Association, he said: ‘You gotta say hi to me. We go back a long way. She was 12, I was 30.’

The audience laughed before he said: ‘This woman helped me get a lot done’. 

Biden did not acknowledge how he knew the woman or what she helped him do, but the remark caught viewers off guard. 

Later in the remarks he said: ‘I mean this from the bottom of my heart. Those of you who know me, no one ever doubts I mean what I say, the problem is I sometimes say all that I mean.’

At the speech, the audience laughed at the remark, but it's a comment that has attained a lot of social media attention, particularly in reference to the "She was 12, I was 30" part

At the speech, the audience laughed at the remark, but it’s a comment that has attained a lot of social media attention, particularly in reference to the ‘She was 12, I was 30’ part

President Joe Biden started a Democratic National Committee speech with a teachers union on Friday with eye-opening remarks. Pointing to a member of the crowd at the National Education Association, he said: 'You gotta say hi to me. We go back a long way. She was 12, I was 30'

President Joe Biden started a Democratic National Committee speech with a teachers union on Friday with eye-opening remarks. Pointing to a member of the crowd at the National Education Association, he said: ‘You gotta say hi to me. We go back a long way. She was 12, I was 30’

U.S. President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden attend a performance by British rocker Elton John at the White House in Washington, DC

U.S. President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden attend a performance by British rocker Elton John at the White House in Washington, DC

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden watch as Elton John performs on the South Lawn of the White House

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden watch as Elton John performs on the South Lawn of the White House

ELton John is calling the show 'A Night When Hope and History Rhyme,' a reference to a poem by Irishman Seamus Heaney that President Joe Biden often quotes

ELton John is calling the show ‘A Night When Hope and History Rhyme,’ a reference to a poem by Irishman Seamus Heaney that President Joe Biden often quotes

Elton John is pictured on the White House lawn,  providing the exclusive venue for the filming of a TV special

Elton John is pictured on the White House lawn,  providing the exclusive venue for the filming of a TV special

President Joe Biden presents Elton John with the National Humanities Medal after a concert on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington

President Joe Biden presents Elton John with the National Humanities Medal after a concert on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington

British singer Elton John (2L) and his husband David Furnish (L) stand on stage with Biden

British singer Elton John (2L) and his husband David Furnish (L) stand on stage with Biden

Elton John reacts after being awarded the National Humanities Medal by Joe Biden

Elton John reacts after being awarded the National Humanities Medal by Joe Biden

Elton John was deeply emotional after being awarded the National Humanities Medal by U.S. President Joe Biden at the White House in Washington

Elton John was deeply emotional after being awarded the National Humanities Medal by U.S. President Joe Biden at the White House in Washington

It was the start of speech in Washington D.C. where he attacked MAGA Republicans and called GOP leader Kevin McCarthy’s ‘Commitment to America’ policy plan ‘thin’. 

The president also promised to veto a Republican abortion ban if it arrived at his desk and said the midterms are a choice between ‘hope, unity, optimism’ and ‘division, fear, darkness’. 

He celebrated gas prices being down $1.30 a gallon and re-upped his attacks on the use of assault weapons.

‘What in God’s name do you need an assault weapon for? It’s an assault weapon designed to kill people, to defend America, to defend people.’

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden are seen holding hands

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden are seen holding hands 

First lady Jill Biden speaks before President Joe Biden on the South Lawn of the White House

First lady Jill Biden speaks before President Joe Biden on the South Lawn of the White House

U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks at a Democratic National Committee event at the National Education Association headquarters in Washington

U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks at a Democratic National Committee event at the National Education Association headquarters in Washington

The White House said the event “will celebrate the unifying and healing power of music, commend the life and work of Sir Elton John, and honor the everyday history-makers in the audience.”

The White House said the event ‘will celebrate the unifying and healing power of music, commend the life and work of Sir Elton John, and honor the everyday history-makers in the audience.’

British rocker Elton John performs at the White House on Friday night

British rocker Elton John performs at the White House on Friday night

Elton John said that he'd played in some beautiful venues, but the stage in front of the White House, beneath a massive tent on a perfect autumn night, was 'probably the icing on the cake'

Elton John said that he’d played in some beautiful venues, but the stage in front of the White House, beneath a massive tent on a perfect autumn night, was ‘probably the icing on the cake’

‘After opposing and obstructing everything we tried to do to stop progress for the last two years, the House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy went to Pennsylvania and unveiled what he calls a ‘Commitment to America,” Biden said. ‘That’s a thin series of policy goals with limited amount of detail that he says Republicans are going to pursue if they regain control of the Congress.’ 

‘Over the course of nearly an hour, here are a few of the things we didn’t hear,’ Biden continued. ‘We didn’t hear him mention the right to choose. We didn’t hear him mention Medicare. We didn’t hear him mention Social Security.’

Biden also mocked McCarthy for suggesting he would ‘restore faith in elections’.

‘With a straight face, Kevin McCarthy says that MAGA Republicans are going to restore faith in our elections. As we say in my faith, ‘Bless me father for I have sinned,” he told the crowd.

What McCarthy did talk about, Biden said, was preserving Constitutional freedom. 

‘That sounds great. I’m for doing that as well, we all are,’ the president said. ‘But look at what they’ve actually done.’ 

‘The MAGA Republicans just cheered and embraced the first Supreme Court decision in our entire history, first one in our entire history, that just didn’t fail to preserve a constitutional freedom, it actually took away a fundamental right that had been granted by the same court to so many Americans – the constitutional right to choose,’ Biden pointed out. 

Biden also called out Republicans who claim to support law enforcement but did not condemn the January 6 Capitol riot.

‘You can’t be pro-law enforcement and pro-insurrection,’ Biden said. ‘You can’t claim to be a party of law and order and call the people who attacked the police on January 6 patriots.’

Later in the remarks he said: 'I mean this from the bottom of my heart. Those of you who know me, no one ever doubts I mean what I say, the problem is I sometimes say all that I mean

Later in the remarks he said: ‘I mean this from the bottom of my heart. Those of you who know me, no one ever doubts I mean what I say, the problem is I sometimes say all that I mean

Republicans of all stripes have embraced the Dobbs decision – which overturned the 1973 landmark case Roe v. Wade and threw abortion laws back to the states. 

There’s some debate among Republicans – especially after GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham introduced a nationwide 15-week ban bill – of whether to attempt to outlaw abortion at a federal level or keep it at the state level.

‘If they win Congress, I will veto it,’ Biden said of the Graham abortion ban bill.

McCarthy’s Commitment to America does mention preserving the rights of the unborn, but during his appearance with other GOP lawmakers in Monongahela, they didn’t put their abortion stance front-and-center.  

Instead McCarthy promised that the first bill a House GOP majority would pass would be to ‘repeal 87,000 IRS agents’ – a figure Republicans took from a Treasury Department assessment of how many IRS employees could be hired using the $80 billion appropriation in the Inflation Reduction Act, to drum up opposition toward the bill. 

‘And finally, with a straight face, Kevin McCarthy says MAGA Republicans will restore faith in our elections,’ Biden continued. ‘As we say in my faith, ‘Bless me father for I have sinned.’ Restore? Restore faith in our elections?’ the president said chuckling. 

‘MAGA Republicans refused to accept the results of the 2020 election,’ he added. 

Biden also hinted that the MAGA brand, aligned with former President Donald Trump, wasn’t potent in general elections. 

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden welcomed the 75-year-old singer, talking about his activism, the power of his music and his all-around goodness. The event was dreamed up and paid for by A+E and the History Channel

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden welcomed the 75-year-old singer, talking about his activism, the power of his music and his all-around goodness. The event was dreamed up and paid for by A+E and the History Channel 

Later, on Friday night, Elton John was center stage as he performed on the South Lawn with the White House as a backdrop. 

John said he’d played in some beautiful venues, but the stage in front of the White House, beneath a massive tent on a perfect autumn night, was ‘probably the icing on the cake.’

Then he kicked off the show with ‘Your Song,’ his first big international hit.

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden welcomed the 75-year-old singer, talking about his activism, the power of his music and his all-around goodness. The event was dreamed up and paid for by A+E and the History Channel.

‘Seamus Heaney once wrote, and I quote, `Once in a lifetime, the longed-for tidal wave of justice can rise up, and hope and history rhyme,’ Biden said. ‘Throughout his incredible career, Sir Elton John has been that tidal wave, a tidal wave to help people rise up and make hope and history rhyme.’

At the end of the show Biden surprised John with the National Humanities Medal, for his songbook and his long legacy of advocacy.

Tearing up, John said he was ‘flabbergasted and humbled.’

Elton John is seen with the White House as his backdrop on Friday night

Elton John is seen with the White House as his backdrop on Friday night

The 2,000-person guest list included teachers, nurses, frontline workers and LGBTQ advocates, plus former first lady Laura Bush, civil rights advocate Ruby Bridges, education activist Malala Yousafzai and Jeanne White-Ginder, an AIDS activist and mother of Ryan White, who died from AIDS-related complications in 1990.

The night, in fact, was called ‘A Night When Hope and History Rhyme,’ a reference to the poem Biden quoted by Ireland’s Heaney.

It was John’s first White House gig since he performed with Stevie Wonder at a state dinner in 1998 honoring British Prime Minister Tony Blair. At age 75, John is on a farewell tour after performing for more than 50 years.

The show came together after A+E Networks and the History Channel, which footed the bill, asked the White House and John if they’d be up for a collaboration honoring ‘everyday history-makers’ as well as John himself, according to people familiar with the discussions who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity to discuss internal planning.

It’s not clear whether the show will be broadcast. John has worked with A+E in the past on his global HIV/AIDS charity, the Elton John Foundation, which has raised more than $525 million to combat the virus around the world.

John will be in town Saturday playing Nationals Park as part of his final tour. He opened the final leg of his North American farewell series in Philadelphia in July.

The “Tiny Dancer” and “Rocket Man” star is widely regarded across the political spectrum and even performed at Donald Trump’s 2005 wedding to Melania Trump

The ‘Tiny Dancer’ and ‘Rocket Man’ star is widely regarded across the political spectrum and even performed at Donald Trump’s 2005 wedding to Melania Trump

The 2,000-person guest list included teachers, nurses, frontline workers and LGBTQ advocates, plus former first lady Laura Bush, civil rights advocate Ruby Bridges, education activist Malala Yousafzai and Jeanne White-Ginder, an AIDS activist and mother of Ryan White, who died from AIDS-related complications in 1990.

The night, in fact, was called ‘A Night When Hope and History Rhyme,’ a reference to the poem Biden quoted by Ireland’s Heaney.

It was John’s first White House gig since he performed with Stevie Wonder at a state dinner in 1998 honoring British Prime Minister Tony Blair. At age 75, John is on a farewell tour after performing for more than 50 years.

The show came together after A+E Networks and the History Channel, which footed the bill, asked the White House and John if they’d be up for a collaboration honoring ‘everyday history-makers’ as well as John himself, according to people familiar with the discussions who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity to discuss internal planning.

It’s not clear whether the show will be broadcast. John has worked with A+E in the past on his global HIV/AIDS charity, the Elton John Foundation, which has raised more than $525 million to combat the virus around the world.

John will be in town Saturday playing Nationals Park as part of his final tour. He opened the final leg of his North American farewell series in Philadelphia in July.

It was John's first White House gig since he performed with Stevie Wonder at a state dinner in 1998 honoring British Prime Minister Tony Blair. At age 75, John is on a farewell tour after performing for more than 50 years

It was John’s first White House gig since he performed with Stevie Wonder at a state dinner in 1998 honoring British Prime Minister Tony Blair. At age 75, John is on a farewell tour after performing for more than 50 years 

John will be in town Saturday playing Nationals Park as part of his final tour. He opened the final leg of his North American farewell series in Philadelphia in July.

The president and first lady are big fans. Biden wrote in a 2017 memoir about singing ‘Crocodile Rock’ to his two young boys as he drove them to school, and again later to son Beau before he died of cancer at age 46.

‘I started singing the lyrics to Beau, quietly, so just the two of us could hear it,’ Biden wrote. ‘Beau didn´t open his eyes, but I could see through my own tears that he was smiling.’

John played the song Friday, saying someone told him Biden used to sing it.

Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, was also a fan of John. He tried to get John to perform at his 2017 inauguration but John declined, saying he didn´t think it was appropriate for a Brit to play at the swearing-in of an American president.

The White House insisted Friday’s show wasn´t an effort to troll Trump, who has praised John in his books and has often featured John´s music – including ‘Rocket Man’ and ‘Tiny Dancer’ – in his pre-rally playlists over the years. Trump nicknamed North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ‘rocket man’ for his record of test-firing missiles.

John did play ‘Tiny Dancer’ Friday, to thunderous applause.

Sir Elton – he was knighted in 1998 by Queen Elizabeth II – has sold over 300 million records worldwide, played over 4,000 shows in 80 countries and recorded one of the best-selling singles of all time, his 1997 reworking of ‘Candle In The Wind’ to eulogize Princess Diana, which sold 33 million copies.

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