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Biden calls Queen 'incredibly decent and gracious' at DNC retreat

President Joe Biden paid a second tribute to Queen Elizabeth Thursday night at the Democratic National Committee’s summer retreat, before again ripping into the ‘MAGA Republicans’ and calling out former President Donald Trump for saying he’d pardon January 6 participants. 

‘I had the opportunity to meet her before she passed and she was an incredibly decent and gracious woman,’ Biden said. ‘And the thoughts and prayers of the American people are with the people of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth in their grief.’ 

He then quickly turned to the job at hand: ‘Sixty days, sixty days until the midterm elections!’ the president said. 

‘Folks you can’t be pro-insurrection and pro-democracy,’ he said. ‘You can’t support law enforcement and call the mob that attacked the police on January 6 in the United States Capitol patriots.’ 

‘And you heard what he recently said? He said if he got elected again he’ll pardon them all, he’ll pay their legal fees,’ Biden continued. ‘How can you call yourself a democrat, with a small-d?’   

Biden was the headliner of the first day of the retreat, being held at the tony Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, formerly the venue for the Conservative Political Action Conference, one of the places Trump got his political start. 

During his remarks, Biden pretended he forget Trump’s name, while also casually mentioning new poll numbers that show him ahead of the former president in a 2024 rematch. 

‘Folks, they tried over 20 times in the last time, when the last guy was there – what was his name, I can’t remember? – this guy never stops,’ Biden said, pointing to GOP efforts during Trump’s tenure to kill off Obamacare. 

President Joe Biden paid a second tribute to Queen Elizabeth Thursday night at the Democratic National Committee's summer retreat, before again ripping into the 'MAGA Republicans'

President Joe Biden paid a second tribute to Queen Elizabeth Thursday night at the Democratic National Committee’s summer retreat, before again ripping into the ‘MAGA Republicans’ 

Biden then went after the 'MAGA Republicans' especially former President Donald Trump who recently said if re-elected he would pardon the January 6 MAGA mob members

Biden then went after the 'MAGA Republicans' especially former President Donald Trump who recently said if re-elected he would pardon the January 6 MAGA mob members

Biden then went after the ‘MAGA Republicans’ especially former President Donald Trump who recently said if re-elected he would pardon the January 6 MAGA mob members 

He used the recent transition of power in the United Kingdom to serve as an example of how the world might be viewing the ex-president’s election denying antics. 

‘Extreme MAGA Republicans just don’t threaten our personal and economic rights. They embrace political violence,’ Biden said.  

‘Imagine if we leave here tonight and you turn on the television and you found out that whether it’s the Bundestag in Germany or the parliament in Great Britain, couple people stormed those buildings, broke down the doors of the parliament, killed some cops, beat the hell out of people to try to change the outcome of the election of the woman who just got picked to be prime minister,’ Biden said. ‘Think about what you’d think. What kind of confidence you’d have in our European friends.’

‘And look what they see on television in their country every single day – what Trump is doing or the Trumpers are doing,’ the president continued. 

He was then interrupted by a single male voice calling out from the audience: ‘Lock him up!’ 

‘Well let me tell you something, they’re looking and wondering,’ Biden said, ignoring the comment. ‘We have to win this off-year election for more reasons, for more reason than just being able to move our agenda forward. We have to.’ 

‘And it doesn’t do a whole lot to show the new polls showing me beating six or eight or whatever the hell the numbers are,’ he said, illiciting cheers from the audience. 

Prior to the DNC gathering Biden made a stop at the British embassy, also to pay his respects. 

‘We mourn for all of you,’ said Biden after the signing, with Dr. Biden at his side.

‘She was a great lady. We’re so delighted to get to meet her.’ 

The president ripped up his schedule after the death of the 96-year-old British head of state. He canceled a speech on COVID-19 vaccines and ordered flags to half staff.

In a statement he paid tribute to the Queen, saluting the stability and constancy she brought to Britain and to an uncertain world. 

And he said was ready to build on his relationship with King Charles, who will now take up the British throne. 

‘In a world of constant change, she was a steadying presence and a source of comfort and pride for generations of Britons, including many who have never known their country without her,’ said Biden.

‘An enduring admiration for Queen Elizabeth II united people across the Commonwealth.

President Joe Biden and the first lady made an unannounced visit to the British Embassy in Washington, D.C., on Thursday evening, hours after the Queen's death was announced

President Joe Biden and the first lady made an unannounced visit to the British Embassy in Washington, D.C., on Thursday evening, hours after the Queen's death was announced

President Joe Biden and the first lady made an unannounced visit to the British Embassy in Washington, D.C., on Thursday evening, hours after the Queen’s death was announced

Biden signed the book of condolence, flanked by Dame Karen Pierce, British ambassador to the U.S., and the first lady. 'We're so delighted to get to meet her,' he said afterwards

Biden signed the book of condolence, flanked by Dame Karen Pierce, British ambassador to the U.S., and the first lady. 'We're so delighted to get to meet her,' he said afterwards

Biden signed the book of condolence, flanked by Dame Karen Pierce, British ambassador to the U.S., and the first lady. ‘We’re so delighted to get to meet her,’ he said afterwards

The White House said President Joe Biden had met the Queen three times, most recently for tea with first lady Jilly Biden at Windsor Castle in 2021, where they inspected a guard of honor

The White House said President Joe Biden had met the Queen three times, most recently for tea with first lady Jilly Biden at Windsor Castle in 2021, where they inspected a guard of honor

The White House said President Joe Biden had met the Queen three times, most recently for tea with first lady Jilly Biden at Windsor Castle in 2021, where they inspected a guard of honor

Biden paid tribute to the Queen after her death was announced on Thursday, saying: 'In a world of constant change, she was a steadying presence and a source of comfort and pride for generations of Britons including many who have never known their country without her'

Biden paid tribute to the Queen after her death was announced on Thursday, saying: 'In a world of constant change, she was a steadying presence and a source of comfort and pride for generations of Britons including many who have never known their country without her'

Biden paid tribute to the Queen after her death was announced on Thursday, saying: ‘In a world of constant change, she was a steadying presence and a source of comfort and pride for generations of Britons including many who have never known their country without her’

The president issued a proclamation on Thursday afternoon, paying tribute to the Queen and  ordering the US flag to be flown at half staff at the White House and other public buildings

The president issued a proclamation on Thursday afternoon, paying tribute to the Queen and  ordering the US flag to be flown at half staff at the White House and other public buildings

The president issued a proclamation on Thursday afternoon, paying tribute to the Queen and  ordering the US flag to be flown at half staff at the White House and other public buildings

Biden, who met the Queen for the first time as a senator in 1982, was told of her death during a meeting in the Oval Office.

‘Queen Elizabeth II was a stateswoman of unmatched dignity and constancy who deepened the bedrock alliance between the United Kingdom and the United States.

‘She helped make our relationship special,’ he said.

Biden had been scheduled to deliver remarks on COVID-19 vaccines at the White House.

But the event was canceled minutes after Buckingham Palace announced the Queen’s death.

Instead he and the first lady changed their plans to make the short trip to the embassy.

Dr. Biden wore black and carried a bouquet of flowers as they arrived to be greeted by Dame Karen Pierce, the British ambassador. 

The condolence book was sat between a photo of the Queen and a vase of flowers. Biden took out some notes as he sat down to write his entry. 

After signing the book, the Bidens spoke briefly to British diplomatic staff.

‘Our hearts are with you,’ said the first lady. 

And the president could be heard to say: ‘As my mother would say, God love you.’ 

They then headed on to a political event. 

During that trip to the UK, the Bidens also met the Queen in Cornwall during a reception for the G7 world leaders. The president said he first met the Queen in 1982 as a senator

During that trip to the UK, the Bidens also met the Queen in Cornwall during a reception for the G7 world leaders. The president said he first met the Queen in 1982 as a senator

During that trip to the UK, the Bidens also met the Queen in Cornwall during a reception for the G7 world leaders. The president said he first met the Queen in 1982 as a senator

Prince Charles met Biden last year at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland. 'In the years ahead, we look forward to continuing a close friendship with The King and The Queen Consort,' said Biden in his statement paying tribute to the Queen

Prince Charles met Biden last year at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland. 'In the years ahead, we look forward to continuing a close friendship with The King and The Queen Consort,' said Biden in his statement paying tribute to the Queen

Prince Charles met Biden last year at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland. ‘In the years ahead, we look forward to continuing a close friendship with The King and The Queen Consort,’ said Biden in his statement paying tribute to the Queen

The full text of President Joe Biden’s proclamation on the death of Queen Elizabeth II 

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was more than a monarch. She defined an era.

In a world of constant change, she was a steadying presence and a source of comfort and pride for generations of Britons, including many who have never known their country without her. Queen Elizabeth II led always with grace, an unwavering commitment to duty, and the incomparable power of her example. She was a stateswoman of unmatched dignity and constancy who deepened the bedrock Alliance between the United Kingdom and the United States. 

The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral on Thursday afternoon, according to Buckingham Palace

The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral on Thursday afternoon, according to Buckingham Palace

The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral on Thursday afternoon, according to Buckingham Palace

She helped make our relationship special. The seven decades of her history-making reign bore witness to an age of unprecedented human advancement and the forward march of human dignity. Her legacy will loom large in the pages of British history, and in the story of our world.

As a mark of respect for the memory of Queen Elizabeth II, by the authority vested in me as President of the United States by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby order that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, on the day of interment. 

I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same length of time at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this eighth day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-two, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-seventh.

It now means Biden will renew his relationship with Charles, whom me met last year in Glasgow, on the sidelines of a major United Nations climate conference. Reports said they bonded on their shared concern for the environment. 

‘In the years ahead, we look forward to continuing a close friendship with The King and The Queen Consort,’ said Biden.

‘Today, the thoughts and prayers of people all across the United States are with the people of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth in their grief.

‘We send our deepest condolences to the Royal Family, who are not only mourning their Queen, but their dear mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. 

‘Her legacy will loom large in the pages of British history, and in the story of our world.’

Biden’s most recent meeting with the Queen was last year, during a visit to the UK for a G7 summit of world leaders.

When the summit ended the Bidens flew to Windsor Castle for a one-on-one meeting with the Queen, complete with inspecting a guard of honor and afternoon tea. 

The president just managed to avoid breaking royal protocol. At one point, as he joined the Queen on a dais to observe the Royal salute he appeared to reach out his hand to take her arm – before reining himself in at the last moment.

Afterward Biden compared the Queen to his mother, Catherine Eugenia Finnegan Biden.

‘I don’t think she’d be insulted but she reminded me of my mother, the look of her and just the generosity,’ he said.

On Thursday, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was on the podium during her daily news briefing as news broke.

‘Is that confirmed,’ she asked as journalists shouted details.

When she was told the news came from official sources she paid tribute to the strong relationship between the United Kingdom and the United States.

‘Our hearts go to the people of the United Kingdom to the Queen and to to her family,’ she said.

Her briefing had been dominated by questions about the monarch, her health and Biden’s response.

She said the president was being kept updated throughout the day, and had offered warm words to Prime Minister Liz Truss on a video call with other world leaders.

‘His and the first lady’s thoughts are with the Queen and her family today,’ she said at the start of the briefing.

‘The president also conveyed to Prime Minister Truss during a previously scheduled video conference this morning that he and Dr. Biden are thinking of the Queen, her family and the people of the United Kingdom.’

She added that the president had last spoken to the Queen in June of last year, when the Bidens travelled to Britain for a G7 summit.

Biden’s tribute was one of dozens from world leaders as news spread. 

Former President Donald Trump, who met her twice during his time in office, said: 

‘Our thoughts and prayers will remain with the great people of the United Kingdom as you honor her most meaningful life and exceptional service to the people. 

‘May God bless the Queen, may she reign forever in our hearts.’

The Stars and Stripes was also lowered over the U.S. Capitol Building

The Stars and Stripes was also lowered over the U.S. Capitol Building

The Stars and Stripes was also lowered over the U.S. Capitol Building

French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted that the Queen ’embodied continuity and the unity of the British nation over 70 years. I retain the memory of a friend of France, a queen of hearts who marked as never before her country and her century.’ 

Germany’s foreign minister, Annalena Baerbock, expressed sadness at the news

‘Germany remains forever grateful that she stretched out her hand to us in reconciliation after the terror of World War II,’ she tweeted.

Britain’s new prime minister, Liz Truss, said: ‘Queen Elizabeth II was the rock on which modern Britain was built. Our country has grown and flourished under her reign.

‘Britain is the great country it is today because of her.’

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau described the Queen as ‘a constant presence in our lives’.

‘Her service to Canadians will forever remain an important part of our country’s history,’ he wrote.

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