President Joe Biden, who has a long history of saying or doing questionable things around young children, has also become well-known for his love of ice cream treats, and both of those predilections were combined on Wednesday.
At the beginning of a speech at the White House, Biden appeared to invite the children in the crowd to join him for ice cream afterward and told the children that their "daddy owes you," Fox News reported.
The quip on Wednesday about children and ice cream was most likely not part of President Biden's prepared remarks to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the so-called Inflation Reduction Act but rather was almost certainly an off-the-cuff comment amid his introductions.
While greeting those who were in attendance in the East Room of the White House, Biden said, "And I want to say one thing to your children: I know some really great ice cream places around here."
"And Daddy owes you. Okay?" he added to laughter from the audience. "So, talk to me afterwards."
BIDEN: "I wanna say one thing to your children. I know some really great ice cream places around here and daddy owes you, so talk to me afterwards." pic.twitter.com/fSxmDVb6pp
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) August 16, 2023
The New York Post reported that President Biden has long faced criticism for uttering somewhat "creepy" remarks toward children in the past, and this incident was no different.
Many of the critiques could be summarized by a social media post from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who shared a video clip of the comment about offering ice cream to children and captioned it with "#StrangerDanger" -- a common warning to young children that older adults they aren't personally acquainted with can be a potential threat to their safety and well-being.
Other social media users simply made note of this incident being the latest example of Biden's tendency to act like a "creepy" old man in relation to young children.
Nor is this the first time that the president has made an odd, and to some unsettling, reference to children and ice cream during a formal speech about a decidedly unrelated topic, per the Post.
One such example came in March when, while addressing the horrific mass shooting at a Christian school in Nashville, Tennessee, in which three young children were murdered, Biden proclaimed, "I eat Jeni’s ice cream -- chocolate chip. I came down because I heard there was chocolate chip ice cream," and noted, "By the way, I have a whole refrigerator full upstairs. You think I’m kidding? I’m not."
Later in those remarks, after again touting the local ice cream shop of Jeni's, the president added toward the handful of children in attendance, "If I were allowed to take you upstairs, you got a whole freezer full of Jeni’s chocolate chip ice cream."
According to a timeline shared earlier this year by the Washingtonian, the Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams chain in the Washington D.C. area is but one of several ice cream shops nationwide that Biden has visited and promoted thus far during his tenure as president.
Of course, while there is nothing wrong in and of itself with an 80-year-old man enjoying a scoop of ice cream from time to time, that becomes questionable when said elderly man begins offering said ice cream to young children that he doesn't know, and such behavior should not be encouraged with laughter or dismissed as entirely harmless.