Latest News 10-07-2024 21:01 8 Views

16 vulnerable House Dems who traveled to White House a combined 133 times during Biden’s tenure

More than a dozen House Democrats locked in tough re-election battles this year have traveled to the White House more than 130 times collectively throughout the past three and a half years for various events.

Though specific explanations for each visit are not provided, the lawmakers' trips range in date from February 2021 to March 2024, according to White House visitor logs reviewed by Fox News Digital.

The 16 Democratic lawmakers made a combined 133 visits to the White House on different occasions, with President Biden, whose mental acuity and age have been largely called into question ahead of the 2024 election. He was present for roughly 75% of the meetings or gatherings during each visit.

The vulnerable Democrats who have traveled to the White House are Reps. Jahana Hayes of Connecticut (18 times), Susan Wild of Pennsylvania (18 times), Emilia Sykes of Ohio (11 times), Mary Peltola of Alaska (10 times), Eric Sorensen of Illinois (nine times), Vicente Gonzalez of Texas (nine times), Gabe Vasquez of New Mexico (eight times), Yadira Caraveo of Colorado (seven times), Andrea Salinas of Oregon (seven times), Marcy Kaptur of Ohio (seven times), Frank Mrvan of Indiana (seven times), Chris Deluzio of Pennsylvania (six times), Angie Craig of Minnesota (five times), Matt Cartwright of Pennsylvania (five times), Don Davis of North Carolina (four times), and Jared Golden of Maine (two times).

The 16 vulnerable lawmakers – many of whom have sought to put distance between the Biden administration's agenda and their district-specific congressional bids – are all seeking re-election to seats that are currently ranked by the Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan election analyst, as either 'Democrat Toss Up' or 'Lean Democrat.'

Though she has expressed opposition to parts of the Biden administration's agenda in recent months, Peltola, for instance, has traveled to the White House roughly a dozen times since she joined Congress in September 2022 and previously claimed Biden's 'mental acuity is very, very on,' describing him as one of the 'smartest, sharpest' people she met in D.C.

Asked recently whether she believes Biden is fit to serve as president, Peltola, who's had a handful of small meetings with the president in recent years, told Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, 'I don’t think there is any benefits to Alaskans weighing in on this issue.… My opinion is irrelevant.'

Peltola, who has endorsed Biden's re-election bid and is seeking re-election in a state that heavily supported former President Trump in the 2020 presidential election, has faced criticism from her GOP challengers for refusing to take a stand against the Biden administration's agenda. Earlier this year, she voted 'present' on the Alaska’s Right to Produce Act to roll back some of the 63 executive orders Biden has made against the state's oil and gas economy.

A spokesperson for Peltola's office, told Fox News Digital, 'Since Rep. Peltola was elected, she's attended and brought Alaskans to public events at the White House to share unique Alaskan perspectives with decision-makers, but her biggest motivation for going was her successful push for the Willow Project.'

'She secured a meeting so she and Sens. Murkowski and Sullivan could advocate for the Willow Project. Because of Rep. Peltola's advocacy, a project that's been in limbo for decades will open hundreds of new oil wells and create good-paying Alaskan jobs. The last private conversation she had with the president was when he phoned to offer condolences shortly after her husband passed away last year in September,' the spokesperson added.

Craig has also made several trips to the White House in recent years, attending events and meetings where Biden was in attendance. But in a split from several members of her party, Craig called for Biden to 'step aside for the next generation of leadership' in the 2024 race for the White House.

Craig's comments, which referenced Biden's performance at the debate, come as she seeks re-election to represent Minnesota's 2nd Congressional District in the House.

Like Craig, Golden, who attended a White House event with the president last December, has also looked to put some distance between himself and Biden in recent weeks.

'Biden’s poor performance in the debate was not a surprise,' Golden said in a Bangor Daily News op-ed. 'It also didn’t rattle me as it has others, because the outcome of this election has been clear to me for months: While I don’t plan to vote for him, Donald Trump is going to win. And I’m OK with that.'

Perhaps one of the most vulnerable Democrats seeking re-election, Golden represents Maine's 2nd Congressional District, which supported Trump by a seven-point margin in the 2020 election.

Wild has also sought to put some distance between herself and Biden as she seeks re-election to represent Pennsylvania's 7th Congressional District, a seat considered a top pick-up opportunity for Republicans in the 2024 election cycle.

Though she hadn't previously expressed concern about Biden's fitness for office, Wild said this week that she shares Americans' concerns 'about President Biden’s electability at the top of the ticket,' noting the 'importance of this election.'

Like many of her colleagues, Wild has attended several meetings and events at the White House since 2021. In March, she attended a 12-person meeting with Biden at the White House.

Davis, who has attended at least one small meeting with the president at the White House, has also raised concerns about Biden's electability, saying in a statement this month that if Biden 'is going to stay in, he needs to step up.'

Other Democrats who have traveled to the White House in recent years to attend meetings and events with Biden, including Hayes, have been silent about the concerns that have been raised by members of their own party.

Hayes, who has traveled to the White House nearly two dozen times in the last three and half years and met with the president in several small gatherings, has been tight-lipped about concerns over whether Biden is fit for office.

Taking aim at Hayes, who previously said she was 'not concerned about [Biden's] age,' the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) accused the congresswoman of locking 'herself in her bunker' and 'refusing to outright answer' whether Biden is fit for office.

'Jahana Hayes thinks she can run and hide from Joe Biden but the truth is, she helped enable this massive cover up of Biden’s cognitive decline,' NRCC spokesperson Savannah Viar said in a statement. 'The question is simple: ‘Does Jahana Hayes think Joe Biden is fit to serve as President?''

Following his disastrous debate performance against Trump, Biden has repeatedly faced calls from members of his own party and the media to step aside from or withdraw from the 2024 presidential election.

The situation has plunged the party into crisis and continues to drive a wedge between Biden loyalists and elected officials in swing districts ahead of next month's Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

Biden's top campaign aides have been working damage control with major donors, while the White House – and Biden himself – remain adamant he is the right man to lead the party against Trump, the presumptive GOP nominee.

Fox News Digital's Michael Dorgan and Chris Pandolfo contributed to this report.

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