President Joe Biden was interrupted by protesters at a rally marking his 100th day in office Thursday night in Duluth, Georgia.
Biden, who had just been introduced by first lady Jill Biden, was shouted down by a small group asking him to ‘abolish ICE’ and get detainees out of private prisons.
‘I agree with you, I’m working on it, man, give me another five days,’ Biden said, trying to de-escalate the situation. ‘Folks, you all know what they’re talking about. There should be no private prisons period. Private detention centers. They should not exist. And we’re working to close all of them.’
President Joe Biden was interrupted by protesters at the first rally he held during his presidency, marking his 100th day in office
Protesters interrupted President Joe Biden at Thursday night’s rally in Duluth. They held up a banner that said ‘Communities Not Cages’
First lady Jill Biden (left) and President Joe Biden (right) held hands as they walked onstage at a rally in the parking lot of the Infinite Energy Center in Duluth, outside Atlanta
President Joe Biden speaks at a drive-in style rally in Duluth, Georgia Thursday night. The White House said around 315 cars were in the audience
Supporters of President Joe Biden held signs that said ‘100 Days’ and ‘Kindness Wins’
They held up a neon orange banner – and had it pointed toward the audience, not the president – that said ‘communities not cages.’
One protester continued to shout that ‘our families are dying.’
‘We voted for you too,’ a protester said.
‘I promise you,’ the president pledged.
Biden signed an early executive order phasing out the Department of Justice’s use of private prisons – but that order never extended to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Biden has said in the past that he doesn’t support the leftwing part of the Democratic Party’s call to ‘abolish ICE.’
When running for president in the 2020 cycle, Biden was sporadically interrupted on the campaign trail over Obama-era deportations.
Biden chose a Georgia trip to celebrate his 100th day because the state had delivered for him thrice: once in the November presidential election, swinging it blue for the first time since 1992. And then a second and third time on January 5, with the election of Democratic Sens. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff in two run-off races.
Both Ossoff and Warnock joined Biden onstage at the end of the rally.
At that moment, Biden also briefly lost his mask.
‘Looking for my mask, I’m in trouble,’ the president said as he searched the podium, delaying his departure.
At the rally, Biden repeated many of the points he made during Wednesday night’s address before Congress. During a president’s first year in office the address isn’t called the State of the Union.
Biden is trying to sell his American Families Plan and American Jobs Plan that will account for $4.1trillion in spending over the next 10 years, which hasn’t yet been approved by Congress.
Thursday night’s drive-in rally – set up like a drive-in movie theater format to enforce social distancing – may be one of the last of its kind, as more and more Americans are vaccinated against COVID-19.
Biden and the Democrats used drive-in type rallies as a way to pump up the base in the months leading up to the November election, as Trump continued to pack unmasked thousands into his rallies.
The White House said about 315 cars were in the audience.
First lady Jill Biden (left) and President Joe Biden (right) leave their meeting at Jimmy and Rosalynn (center) Carters’ house. The former president didn’t step outside, but his wife did
President Joe Biden leaves a meeting with the Carters with Rosalynn Carter (left) watching from the front porch of the couple’s Plains, Georgia home
The Beast, the president’s limo, is seen in the driveway of Jimmy and Rosalynn Carters’ residence in Plains, Georgia on Thursday
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden are in Georgia Thursday – with their first stop a trip to see Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter
Former President Jimmy Carter (left) and former first lady Rosalynn Carter (right) are fully vaccinated and hosted President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden in Plains, Georgia on Thursday
Earlier in the day, the Bidens met with 96-year-old former President Jimmy Carter and his 93-year-old wife, Rosalynn, during their first stop in the Peach State.
Jill Biden spoke of meeting with the Carters during her introduction.
‘And they are such a powerful reminder that serving our country isn’t limited to the office you hold,’ the first lady said. ‘The Carters continue their work making our country stronger every day and we are grateful and honored for their friendship.’
Rosalynn Carter, 93, using a walker and wearing a white shirt, poked her head out and watched the Bidens leave from the front porch of her Plains, Georgia residence. Her husband, the former president, stayed inside.
The couple have been living living in the two-bedroom rancher the president built himself since before he entered the White House. In 2018 it was valued at $167,000 – less than the value of the Secret Service armored cars outside,
On Air Force One, deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre explained that the visit wasn’t because Jimmy Carter was in poor health.
‘They had said on that call they would try to connect after inauguration,’ she said, explaining that Biden and Carter had spoke by phone on the eve of Biden’s swearing-in. ‘And since they were going to Georgia they wanted to stop by and say hello.’
She also said the visit was unrelated to the recent death of Carter’s vice president, Walter Mondale, who was also a close friend of Biden’s.
‘No, this is just, as I said, a longstanding friendship – they said they were going to try and see each other after inauguration,’
The Carters had to miss Biden’s January inauguration due to COVID-19 concerns for people of their age.
Jean-Pierre also shared that Biden was the first U.S. senator to endorse Carter when the then former governor decided to run for president, winning the White House in 1976.
‘So they have a longstanding relationship that goes back decades,’ she said.
Both the Bidens and the Carters have been vaccinated for COVID-19.