It was the first time the annual event had been staged since its leadership and structure were altered to remove it from a controversial private religious group, and President Biden used the occasion to give a message of togetherness to the nation.
“People have a tendency to view one another as enemies rather than rivals, both in politics and in daily life. Our relationship is one of the adversaries, not neighbours “According to Mr. Biden. Despite the hardships, America’s defining qualities of resilience and resolve are still evident to those who take a closer look.
Mr. Biden has previously advocated for national harmony, most notably in 2021, after the attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6. It was different from Trump’s 2020 speech, in which he gloated about the Senate’s acquittal of him during his first impeachment trial and attacked then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and then-Senator Mitt Romney.
Members of Congress, government officials, and others filled the auditorium of the Capitol’s visitor centre for the brunch.
There have been thousands of people at the breakfast over the years, and every president since Dwight D. Eisenhower has spoken there. The International Foundation, a Christian group that has been under increasing scrutiny over the years, was in charge of the event for decades.
Currently, the event is managed by the National Prayer Breakfast Foundation, an organisation founded and directed by former members of Congress. While Vice President Biden was giving his speech, the International Foundation was holding its own celebration at a nearby hotel.
Mr. Biden welcomed all 1,300 guests by mentioning the size of the gathering at the previous breakfast. His remark was the sole public nod he gave to the fact that things had been shifting behind the scenes.
Mr. Biden sat next to Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy during the event, which aimed to bring individuals of different political persuasions together. As a showdown on whether to increase the country’s debt limit to prevent default approaches, the two met on Wednesday.
“We had a good meeting yesterday,” Mr. Biden said of McCarthy, saying they would work to “treat each other with respect.”
McCarthy, on the same day, said that the meeting was “excellent.”
Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, who was soundly defeated in November’s election but continues to deny it, was also present. Vice President Biden has spoken out against election fraud, calling it an attack on American democracy.
Mr. Biden, the nation’s second Catholic president, cited the Bible’s commandment to “love thy neighbour as oneself” when he stressed the significance of helping those in need.
To paraphrase, “that’s the hardest one,” he said. “Well, at least it’s toughest here. There was a time when it wasn’t so challenging. Time has passed and I am still here. However, the challenge appears to be growing.”
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