President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden met with 96-year-old former President Jimmy Carter and his 93-year-old wife, Rosalynn, during their first stop in Georgia Thursday.
Rosalynn Carter, using a walker and wearing a white shirt, poked her head out and watched the Bidens leave from the front porch of her Plains, Georgia residence. Her husband, the former president, stayed inside.
On Air Force One, deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre explained that the visit wasn’t because Jimmy Carter was in poor health or anything like that.
First lady Jill Biden (left) and President Joe Biden (right) leave their meeting at Jimmy and Rosalynn (center) Carters’ house. The former president didn’t step outside, but his wife did
President Joe Biden leaves a meeting with the Carters with Rosalynn Carter (left) watching from the front porch of the couple’s Plains, Georgia home
The Beast, the president’s limo, is seen in the driveway of Jimmy and Rosalynn Carters’ residence in Plains, Georgia on Thursday
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden are in Georgia Thursday – with their first stop a trip to see Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter
Former President Jimmy Carter (left) and former first lady Rosalynn Carter (right) are fully vaccinated and hosted President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden in Plains, Georgia on Thursday
‘They had said on that call they would try to connect after inauguration,’ she said, explaining that Biden and Carter had spoke by phone on the eve of Biden’s swearing-in. ‘And since they were going to Georgia they wanted to stop by and say hello.’
She also said the visit was unrelated to the recent death of Carter’s vice president, Walter Mondale, who was also a close friend of Biden’s.
‘No, this is just, as I said, a longstanding friendship – they said they were going to try and see each other after inauguration,’
The Carters had to miss Biden’s January inauguration due to COVID-19 concerns for people of their age.
Jean-Pierre also shared that Biden was the first U.S. senator to endorse Carter when the then former governor decided to run for president, winning the White House in 1976.
‘So they have a longstanding relationship that goes back decades,’ she said.
Both the Bidens and the Carters have been vaccinated for COVID-19.
Biden’s trip to Georgia is to mark his 100th day in office.
He’ll participate in a drive-in car rally later Thursday evening.
Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were supposed to headline an Atlanta rally last month, but plans changed after the Atlanta spa shootings, in which Asian women made up the bulk of the victims.
Joe will now head to the Peach state with first lady Jill to sell the American Families Plan and American Jobs Plan that will account for $4.1trillion in spending over the next 10 years – which hasn’t yet been approved by Congress.
In his first address to Congress on Wednesday night he laid out a series of tax hikes on the rich in order to fund the two plans, and is facing questions over whether they will be enough.
The president and vice president spent part of the March 19 trip speaking with Asian-American community leaders and delivering remarks aimed at curbing hate crimes against Asians, which have been on the rise since the advent of the coronavirus pandemic.
Now safely able to engage in politics again, Thursday’s ‘Back on Track’ rally will be an attempt to reinforce the president’s message from Wednesday night, when he delivered his first address before Congress, where he touted early accomplishments and asked them to do more.
It will also serve as a thank you to the voters of Georgia who delivered for Biden thrice: once in the November presidential election, swinging it blue for the first time since 1992. And then a second and third time on January 5, with the election of Democratic Sens. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff in two run-off races.
President Joe Biden (pictured) and first lady Jill BIden will head to Georgia Thursday for a meeting with Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter and then for a drive-in rally to mark Biden’s 100th day in office
President-elect Joe Biden (center) is photographed campaigning on behalf of Rev. Raphael Warnock (center left) and Jon Ossoff (center right) in December in the run-up to the January run-off elections
Thursday night’s drive-in car rally will likely be one of the last of its kind, as more and more Americans are being vaccinated against COVID-19
Those elections gave Biden a slim Democratic majority in the Senate, allowing him to sign his proposed $1.9 trillion COVID relief package in March.
With the passage of that bill, Biden made good on a promise he made to Georgia voters at a rally in January, the night before the election.
‘If you send Jon and the Reverend to Washington, those $2,000 checks will go out the door,’ Biden said in Atlanta. ‘And if you send Sens. Perdue and Loeffler back to Washington, those checks will never get there. It’s just that simple. The power is literally in your hands.’
A round of $1,400 stimulus checks was included in the March COVID-19 relief package, piggybacking on the $600 checks that were included in the package in December, signed by former President Donald Trump.
Now Biden needs to get public sentiment on his side to pass two more trillion dollar-plus packages: his American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan.
Biden wants Congress to spend about $4.1 trillion on the two plans.
He’ll also likely address Georgia’s new Republican-backed voting law, which prompted Major League Baseball to move the all-star game out of the state.
Thursday night’s drive-in rally – set up like a drive-in movie theater format to enforce social distancing – may be one of the last of its kind, as more and more Americans are vaccinated against COVID-19.
Biden and the Democrats used drive-in type rallies as a way to pump up the base in the months leading up to the November election, as Trump continued to pack unmasked thousands into his rallies.
Biden was pushing that he took the threat of the coronavirus seriously.