White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre Monday said President Biden agrees with the man who interrupted his gun control event earlier in the day that more needs to be done on the issue.
Manuel Oliver, whose son Joaquin was murdered in the Parkland, Florida, mass shooting in 2018 started shouting during a speech Biden gave Monday to commemorate the passage of the bipartisan Safer Communities Act. Security escorted him out, even as Biden attempted to engage with the man.
Jean-Pierre also said that Biden understands what Oliver is feeling. Biden’s first wife, infant daughter and adult son have all died during his life.
“Our hearts go out to Manuel Oliver who has suffered a deep, deep loss,” she said. “The president met with him earlier today before the event. And as you know, the president understands what loss feels like.”
BIDEN GUN CONTROL SPEECH INTERRUPTED BY FATHER OF PARKLAND SHOOTING VICTIM
Before the Monday event in the White House’s South Lawn, Oliver tweeted his disapproval that the White House was effectively celebrating a very incremental piece of gun legislation.
“The word CELEBRATION has no space in a society that saw 19 kids massacred just a month ago,” he said. “‘Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.’ Not me, not Joaquin.”
Though his full comments were not clear, Oliver could be heard saying, “You have to do more than that,” before he was escorted out of the event.
BIDEN BOTCHES PARKLAND SHOOTING DATE DURING GUN CONTROL SPEECH
“The president agrees with him. He agrees we need to do more,” Jean-Pierre said Monday on the substance of Oliver’s comments. “That’s why in his speech, he called on Congress to pass legislation that would ban assault weapons… high capacity magazines, strengthen background checks and enact safe storage laws.”
Jean-Pierre added: “He knows and understand that he is frustrated and he is hurting, and rightfully so, his life was upended when gun violence took his son.”
Hecklers or protestors during a presidential speech are rare due to strict security measures at the White House. A protestor in 2006 interrupted an event with former President George W. Bush and then-Chinese President Hu Jintao, earning her criminal charges.
Dozens of members of Congress attended the event Monday, including Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, who led negotiations on behalf of Republicans. Cornyn managed to get 15 total Senate Republicans to vote for the bill, clearing the chamber’s filibuster threshold.
Although Biden called for more action on gun control Monday, that’s unlikely to happen in a 50-50 Senate. A spokesperson for Cornyn told Fox News Digital Monday another gun bill, let alone one that includes as assault weapons ban, will not happen.
Fox News’ Sarah Tobanski and Kelly Laco contributed to this report.