More than a dozen Democratic lawmakers reportedly skipped President Biden’s speech at a Maryland retreat Wednesday night to attend a Joni Mitchell concert instead.
Biden spoke at the House Democratic Caucus Issues Conference in Baltimore, but while the president was touting his record to a room full of Democrats, multiple others were watching Mitchell receive the Library of Congress’ Gershwin Prize at D.A.R. Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C., according to reports.
Democratic Reps. Maxwell Frost of Florida, Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, Steve Cohen of Tennessee, Dan Kildee of Michigan, Mark Takano of California, Andy Kim of New Jersey, Katie Porter of California, Pramila Jayapal of Washington, Lloyd Doggett of Texas, Hillary Scholten of Michigan and Greg Casar of Texas were all at the concert, Punchbowl News reported.
Democratic Sens. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Patty Murray of Washington and Jack Reed of Rhode Island were also there, along with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.; Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine; and Rep. Bryan Steil, R-Wis., The Hill reported.
Some of the lawmakers reportedly surrounded Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden before she presented the award to Mitchell, who performed some of her hits, like ‘The Circle Game.’
Graham Nash, James Taylor, Ledisi, Cyndi Lauper, Herbie Hancock, Marcus Mumford and Brandi Carlile also gave performances, The Associated Press reported.
Meanwhile, Biden gave his speech in Baltimore, where he declared he’s going to ban assault weapons and high capacity magazines ‘come hell or high water.’
‘I know it may make some of you uncomfortable, but that little state above me, Delaware is one of them, has the highest rate, one of the highest rates of gun ownership. But guess what? We’re going to ban assault weapons again come hell or high water and high capacity magazines. When we did it last time to reduce mass deaths,’ the president said.
Biden came under fire for laughing while discussing a mother who lost her two children to fentanyl overdoses in 2020 during the speech. The mother, Rebecca Kiessling, later demanded an apology from Biden on Fox News.