President Joe Biden made what’s been described as an “off-color joke” this Friday about how he’s “really not Irish” because he doesn’t drink and because his Irish relatives aren’t all in jail.
He made the joke during the annual “Friends of Ireland” luncheon at the U.S. Capitol. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who’s reportedly also Irish, was also in attendance.
“I’ve been to Ireland many times, but not to actually look up, to find my actual family members. And there are so many — and they actually weren’t in jail,” he said while describing a six-day visit during which he’d met his Irish relatives.
“There’s still a place called Finnegan’s Pub … that’s related to my family. I’m the only Irishman you ever met, though, that’s never had a drink, so I’m OK. I’m really not Irish,” he added.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
‘I’m really not Irish because I’m sober…and I don’t have any relatives in jail…’ -Joe Biden at the Friends of Ireland Luncheon pic.twitter.com/v9gI8xYylo
— Liz Churchill (@liz_churchill8) March 17, 2023
Critics seized on the “off-color” joke, using it to roast and bash the president.
“No self respecting Irishman or woman would be seen with the low bred snake Biden. The only reason his relatives are not in jail themselves is that his corrupt govt protects his whole family. Italians had Cosa Nostra, Bidens are Cosa Nasty,” one particularly critical critic opined.
“This man is such a fool! … He is such a liar and says anything that he thinks will benefit his narrative. No joke, no lie, just an old fuddy duddy that runs a family criminal empire!” another critic added.
See more responses below:
Every year he finds a way to be incredibly offensive to the Irish..
— Chorizo (@Chorizo500) March 17, 2023
How ironic! I think several of his family members are going to jail sooner or later. Perhaps he will be indicted as well.
— Jean Starr (@JeanStarr7) March 17, 2023
If the elites didn’t play by different rules his son would definitely be in prison. But, like the joke, double standards all around.
— Cozy Gamer Gimp (@GrumpyCatterman) March 17, 2023
I’m Irish ☘️
I’m really not a Biden because I’m not a crack dealer & user or was sexualized at a young age due to inappropriate showers with my dad.
— Hey Boo Boo (@HeyBooBoo16) March 17, 2023
— Legion Quest (@legion_quest) March 18, 2023
Note what one critic wrote: “Every year he finds a way to be incredibly offensive to the Irish.”
It’s more like every few months. In fact, the president last said something offensive about the Irish back in December.
As previously reported, speaking at a town hall for veterans in Delaware at the time, he at one point joked, “I may be Irish, but I’m not stupid. I married Dominic Giacoppa’s daughter so, you know, I got a little Italian in me now.”
The remarks provoked offense from those who said Biden was basically accusing regular Irish people of being stupid.
“Biden loves this Bidenism (he’s said it in the past before) — just casual old school anti-Irish stereotyping, but he thinks it’s a fun part of his gift of the gab because he considers himself Irish (his great-great-great grandfather moved to America from Ireland in the 1800s.),” Jerry Dunleavy of the Washington Examiner tweeted.
‘He needs help’: Biden offends Irish-Americans with recycled ethnic slur and THEN claims to be Italian https://t.co/Sff0JLNyMq pic.twitter.com/D7tvLOUAhO
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) December 18, 2022
That wasn’t even the first time Biden had used this particular one-liner. He also said it during the White House’s Annual Friends of Ireland Luncheon in March of 2022. And he used the Irish part of it back in 2015.
In the president’s defense, he does have Irish roots, though he himself wasn’t born there.
“He spent his earliest years surrounded by his mother’s Irish American family, the Finnegans, in the Irish American stronghold of Scranton, Pennsylvania. After moving to Delaware during elementary school, he was schooled by nuns at Parochial schools,” Politico reported two years ago.
“He also makes sure to emphasize it. Like many Irish-American politicians, he is a regular at St. Patrick’s Day feasts and makes frequent allusions to his Irish Catholic upbringing in public remarks. Biden, though, has gone further than most. He commissioned a genealogy of his Irish ancestors, rolling it out for public consumption at the tail end of his vice presidency, when he and his family toured the Emerald Isle to great fanfare, visiting ancestral sites.”
Dovetailing back to the “Friends of Ireland” luncheon, during the event McCarthy reportedly expressed an interest in working with the president — and lo and behold, the president reciprocated the interest.
“I agree with the speaker, there’s no reason why we can’t find common ground. There’s no reason why we can’t hope to change this direction of the extremes in both parties are pushing,” he said, according to the New York Post.
“I think it’s important. I think it’s really important. And that’s the power of friendship. I think it’s the power of — it’s the strength of our partnership, if we work at it, and simply put, I think it’s the Irish of it,” he added.
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