Hawaii lawmaker hammers Biden’s ‘slap in the face’ to Maui
A Hawaii state lawmaker on Friday slammed President Biden’s recent trip to the devastated island of Maui, telling Fox News that locals saw his comments as a “slap in the face,” criticizing him for routinely “butchering” official’s names and appearing to fall asleep during a memorial for fire victims.
Hawaii House Minority Floor Leader Diamond Garcia, R-Oahu, said the community is still reeling from the fires that left more than 100 dead and the city of Lahaina leveled.
Garcia told “Hannity” that Mauians could not believe Biden’s “no comment” response to reporters when he was first asked about the fires while vacationing in Sussex County, Del.
“The fact is the president came to Hawaii some time after the fires burnt down the entire town of Lahaina. And when he came, he came for less than 6 hours,” Garcia recounted.
“He landed, did a brief tour, held a press conference – where he literally butchered every single name that he mentioned — and then went to an event with the local families who lost everything. And he literally fell asleep in the midst of these families pouring out their hearts and sharing their experiences.”
In one clip circulated during Biden’s trip, the president bowed his head in his crossed arms and appeared to briefly doze, while other viewers said his eyes remained open and that he appeared alert while his head was down.
“And this is our commander-in-chief,” Garcia lamented, adding that families in Hawaii have rhetorically asked “aren’t we American citizens too?”
He said many in the state feel like “second-class citizens” nonetheless, and have cited the $700-per-household pledge from FEMA as a paltry offering from the feds.
Garcia was asked how he and other Hawaiians felt when Biden appeared to compare the deadly blazes to a kitchen fire in his New Castle County, Del., home in 2004, amid heavy lightning in area. Biden claimed he nearly lost his Chevrolet Corvette and his cat in the fire, while host Sean Hannity previously reported first responders doused the flames within 20 minutes.
“In the words of the local families here, they’re saying what a slap in the face that was. That comment was out of place. It goes to show the lack of basic humanity involved here,” Garcia said.
Garcia underlined that Biden criticisms on the island are not a partisan issue, as the state remains heavily Democratic, with a 45-9 majority in his legislative chamber:
“I’m one of the few ‘red’ members here, but we’re a blue state. And the president couldn’t even come to a blue state and offer true federal support.”
Responding to Biden’s handling of another disaster zone, East Palestine Ohio Republican Mayor Trent Conaway told “Hannity” that he has faced a similar lack of urgency from the president; months after a Norfolk-Southern derailment created a long-term toxic situation in Columbiana County, Ohio and Beaver County, Pa.
Conaway said that if Biden, at this later date, still decides to visit the recovering community, he will be “welcomed,” but it would be noted that he is then “a little too late.”
“He has promised that he will be here, but, you know, nobody’s holding their breaths.”