Ohio Democrat Sen. Sherrod Brown Excuses Joe Biden’s Absence in East Palestine

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), up for reelection in 2024 and likely to face a tough opponent, excused Joe Biden’s absence when asked about the president visiting East Palestine, where a train carrying chemicals derailed.

During a press gaggle in Ohio, a reporter asked Brown about the consensus in East Palestine that Biden would not show up to the town, even after there was a “need” for him. In his response, the Democrat senator excused his absence, noting that it doesn’t “particularly” matter if he comes. Brown also stated that he has “talked to his staff more than to him.”

The transcript of Brown’s interaction:

Reporter: What are your thoughts considering the need here in East Palestine that President Biden has decided not to come?

Brown: Well, I don’t think whether the president shows up then and they have to close schools, and everything is disrupted is the issue of the… I’ve talked to the President, I’ve talked to DOT, the Department of Transportation, I’ve talked to them, the National Transportation Safety Board. All of them have their staffs here. I’m fine if I know that Buttigieg was here, I know the EPA Administrator was here. I don’t know if the President himself coming particularly matters, but I do know that his focus, I’ve talked to him. He called me from Warsaw to talk about what are we not doing that we need to do. I talked to his staff more than to him, but the staff or him twice three times a week, holding their feet to the fire and making sure they’re doing what they should be doing. So, whether he comes here or not is not, I don’t think, is a particularly big deal. Whether we are, his focus is on here and will continue to be.

While Biden has not gone to the state — even though he was able to make plans to visit other countries on an international trip, including a surprise visit to Ukraine — Brown noted that EPA Administrator Michael Regan and Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg have visited.

On the same day as the press gaggle, Brown also joined Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH) in sending a letter to Regan and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky, urging them to ensure individuals affected by the Norfolk Southern train derailment have access to baseline medical testing.

As Breitbart News reported earlier this month, a train operated by Norfolk Southern carrying dangerous chemicals derailed and spilled the chemicals on February 3. Cleanup crews ignited five train cars to get rid of toxic chemicals in a controlled environment. However, the fire created a thick billowing smoke in the sky that resembled a mushroom cloud.

Immediately after the derailment, Ohio’s politicians sprung into action. However, Biden and Buttigieg were nowhere to be found. Then, just one day after former President Donald Trump visited, Buttigieg finally visited.

While there, Buttigieg’s press secretary refused to answer key questions from reporters because of the presence of cameras. This arose after the transportation secretary came under fire for having a delayed response to transportation-related incidents over the past several months. Earlier this week, Buttigieg said he would visit the area “when the time is right.” Ironically, the time seemed “right” conveniently just after Trump visited.

Trump, who announced another bid for the White House easier this year, visited the town to deliver truckloads of bottled water in addition to buying food for the police and fire departments, as well as everyone who was in an East Palestine McDonald’s following remarks he made to the small town.

Jacob Bliss is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at jbliss@breitbart.com or follow him on Twitter @JacobMBliss.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.