Biden blurted out that there would be “no more drilling” during his presidency, after an exchange with a climate protester during a rally to support Gov. Kathy Hochul of New York.
The president was speaking at Sarah Lawrence College in New York on Nov. 6, boasting about his administration’s achievements and attacking Republicans like Hochul’s rival, Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.).
Biden’s unscripted remarks came after he was heckled by a climate protester toward the end of his speech.
The protester was holding up a sign that read “5 more years of drilling is a lose lose!” and was shouting at Biden about offshore drilling leases.
As the heckler persisted, Biden shot back, “there is no more drilling. I haven’t formed any new drilling.” The protester again shouted her objections to “offshore drilling” in the Antarctic and the Gulf of Mexico.
“That was before I was president. We’re trying to work on that to get that done,” Biden responded.
Republicans and other critics immediately shot back at the president’s comments.
“Two days before the midterm elections, Joe Biden clearly states he is for ‘no more [oil] drilling,’” the Republican National Committee (RNC) posted on Twitter.
Biden’s staff immediately walked back the president’s comments, after much pushback from the public and even members of his own party, such as Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre responded by explaining that the president’s comments “have been twisted to suggest a meaning that was not intended,” and that he regrets it if anyone was offended.
“The President was commenting on a fact of economics and technology: as it has been from the earliest days as an energy superpower, America is once against in the midst of an energy transition,” Jean-Pierre stated.
By Bryan Jung