President Joe Biden has sparked outrage by comparing the Maui wildfires, that killed at least 114 people, to a small kitchen fire in 2004 at his Wilmington, Delaware home.
After being criticized for failing to give the wildfires enough attention, Biden was seen in Hawaii with his wife, Jill Biden, on Monday (Aug. 21).
He spoke to Lahaina residents, whose historic town in Maui County was destroyed in the blaze on Tuesday, Aug. 8.
“I don’t want to compare difficulties, but we have a little sense, Jill and I, [of] what it was like to lose a home,” the president said. “Years ago, now, 15 years, I was in Washington doing ‘Meet the Press.’ It was a sunny Sunday and lightning struck at home on a little lake outside the home, not a lake, a big pond. And it hit the wire and came up underneath our home into the heating ducts, air conditioning ducts.”
He added, “And to make a long story short, I almost lost my wife, my ’67 Corvette and my cat,” before noting that the firefighters who responded “ran into flames to save my wife and save my family. Not a joke.” This is not the first time the 80-year-old has told this story.
In November of 2021, he spoke in New Hampshire about the bipartisan infrastructure plan.
“Without this bridge, as I said earlier, it’s a 10-mile detour just to get to the other side. And I know, having had a house burn down with my wife in it –- she got out safely, God willing — that having a significant portion of it burn, I can tell, 10 minutes make a hell of a difference,” Biden said.